Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Waves, Tomato Boxes and Gang Signs

What's up home skillets?!
This is the gang sign that my niece, Sophia, and I made up while we were kickin' back in Arizona, thowin' back a few brews (by brews I mean I drank more water than I thought possible and she totally downed the breast milk like a champ).
Here's the cute little squidlet posing for the camera... in her sleep. It's way too hard to be back in NY and so far away from her and her mother but hopefully we will be reunited soon! I also miss doing so much Bikram which I did there. Also I tried Dancing Shiva which is a combo of Bikram and vinyasa. I highly recommend it. It totally kicked my butt :-)
The desert was so beautiful! It was only my second time in the southwest and I was totally amazed by the dramatic color and the intense, diverse textures of the landscape. Someday I will go there just to paint... and maybe to build an Earthship ;-)

But for now I'm on a NY adventure (at least for three more weeks before I leave for my residency in Vermont!) I FINALLY finished my fire escape garden!! Yay! Thank goodness because what I should really be doing is painting. Above you can see my tomato box. It's a bit longer than three feet across and one foot wide. I made it out of a wood pallet I found in Bed-Sty are. I also have some basil and other random seeds in there. Well see what comes up! I'm sure I'll have to transplant some treasures soon!

This is the backside of my green planter and smaller herb planter above. I forgot to take a photo from the street so you can see it all together but at least here you can see some details. Everything on my fire escape is recycled (aside from the soil which I bought... and the Ubolts and the seeds... well, seeds are all sort of recycled, especially local heirlooms!) I also installed window boxes in front of two of my windows. The one in the kitchen has herbs in it. I hope it grows! It overlooks our farm I wrote about in my last post:
Strange shadow, I know, but at least you can get the gist of what it looks like. The random wall on the right is a handball court wall which has caused a TON of controversy. In fact, Mikel and I went to our first town meeting yesterday to learn more about the problem and to add our input. There farm is actually part of a park that is a bit more than an acre in size. Unfortunately, most of it is taken up by a parking lot. Lame! The other unfortunate thing is that rather than taking over the parking lot with the farm, they took over the only recreational area and without notifying anyone in the community ahead of time. There is a huge possibility that the farmers will have to totally tear up the farm and put it somewhere else. Where? We will find out after our on-site meeting next Wednesday. Mikel and I are totally jazzed by this democratic process, so jazzed in fact that Mikel expressed how he feels like Chris in the morning on Northern Exposure on election day (if you haven't seen Northern Exposure ever, I highly recommend it-- it's a truly wholesome show!)
Onto business! Before I head to VT I have WAY TOO MUCH to do! Thank goodness the heat wave broke for at least a couple days so I feel like I can move around more (it's been almost 100 degrees for days--and nights!!-- It feels like walking through water!) Above is a cuff I made for Ashley last year that I recently re-mixed. Also in the realm of jewelry, my earrings are officially on display at The Whitney Museum and I just sent a bunch to Bliss in Portland, ME.

Business bummers are as follows: This is a common sting for an artist I think: disappointment. I was getting all geared up to teach a Monday night painting and drawing class this July at Spoke The Hub in Brooklyn but it turns out that the adult and teen sign up for summer classes is super low and the class will be cancelled. I have been longing to teach art workshops for a while now so hopefully if I put that wish out there the universe will open some opportunity soon! On the up-side, it does mean that I have more time to get ready to go to VT for six weeks.

These past few blog entries have been 98% business and only 2% thoughtful. Is that because I'm so busy this summer or is it because I need a spiritual, creative jump-start? Both I think. creativity and depth in my life come and go like waves and with every cycle I learn something new. Until the wave crests again, here's to some sweet summer reading: Let The Right One In, Eragon, and Letters to a Young Artist.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Growing, Traveling, Finding

I saved these images in my blogging drafts two weeks ago before I went to Arizona with the intent that I would blog while hanging out with my sister's new baby Sophia. Now that I'm home in Brooklyn I have no excuse about not getting somthing out there about the fun news going on around here. I would also like to add that hanging out with newborn babies does nothing to curb my baby bug. Maybe being busy is New York will for a while ;-)

Below is a photo of my fire escape garden in the works. I hope to create two more larger planter boxes (12"x 36"x 12") to hang off of the front and from my window as well. Then I will paint them.... what color? Maybe sage color... maybe electric blue... maybe a warm color that would look at home in Tuscany.
Since I left for my trip, Mikel made sure they were watered and loved and now the seedlings are totally thriving! I don't have a more current photo yet but when I get my full garden planted (on Sunday??) I'll show you!
Image from two weeks ago-- the seedlings are back on my window sill again because the landlord is totally bent on having nothing at all in the way of the fire escape. It's frustrating but I understand the reasoning. It just gives me more motivation to finish the other planter boxes. Now to find some more wood... if you see some on the streets of Brooklyn let me know!

This is the quilt I made for my sister and her new baby. I've been working on it since January. I'm so proud of it and it has been so hard to not post any images in progress but I didn't want to ruin the surprise.

More good news has to do with the space behind me in the photo. What was once a handball court is now a farm! It's amazing! I'll post photos and more info soon but for now I will just say that I woke up this morning and worked on a farm next to my apartment in Brooklyn for about and hour and a half. I hope they need lots of help because it is the best experience for me to be around things that grow and people that care about things that grow.

Before I went on my trip to AZ I went to my friend Miranda's Bachelorette party. It involved a drag burlesque restaurant, embarrassing scavenger hunt moments, a mechanical bull and some pretty sweet dancing.
Here I am with Miranda and Alison drinking an "orgy" cocktail at the drag burlesque club. Classy ;-) but really, what do you expect from such a place?
Finally, I was walking two weeks ago to pick Mikel up to have dinner on our 5 year anniversary and I suddenly looked to my left into a storefront with Julie Peppito's work in it! The gallery 0.00156 Acres is a Brooklyn Arts Council space named for its size and the full show consisted of Julie's work along with paintings by her husband Gideon. Small world! Small city!

More soon! I have four weeks to paint my butt off, teach yoga and teach are before I'm off again to The Barn for my residency. I'll keep you updated as things start rolling. Hope you are well!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Magical Rats and a Clothing Fairy

This was Ariele and my table at Artists and Fleas this weekend. Ariele made all of those amazing lamps from mostly recycled materials like bunt cake pans and doughnut cutters. They are so beautiful! It was really a bummer how little traffic there was this weekend though. Although sales were depressingly low we entertained ourselves by doing such things as:
and doing collaborative drawings with other bored vendors. (I'm considering getting a real tatoo like this... but if I did it would have to be much bigger-- more of a manly 'stach, I think)
Here I am, patiently waiting for customers that didn't come... BUT, as sad as the weekend sounds (and there were definitely rough parts) I actually had a very lucky weekend! Mikel and I went out on Monday to some excellent vintage/thrift stores where I found a black sequins dress. I was thinking, "hrmm, I would like some more summer clothing too." Because NYC is hot as H-E double hockey sticks right now. Anyway, Mikel and I were totally bonked-- in dire need of some grub and a cool beer. A couple of veggie burgers and slight tipsiness later we walked home to find two bags full of amazing clothing on our front steps waiting for the recycling truck. OK, I know you're thinking "eww! What about bed bugs?!" but as I was looking through the bags it was obvious that they were organized by someone who had just moved out and didn't have the energy to bring them to a clothing drop. We brought them in you won't believe it but they are all exactly my size! Even her shoes! I think the clothing fairy felt bad that I had such a bad sale weekend and decided to give me about $500 worth of clothes and a handbag shaped like a chicken! I'll have to post an image of that for you soon.

Speaking of luck, I forgot to tell you about my the magical rat that sat on my foot a few weeks ago. Mikel and I went to eat at a cool place in Bushwick called the Northeast Kingdom. On the way home we walked to a cool building that sits on a sight that was a plantation in 1612. As were were looking through the fence at little kids playing flashlight tag in the grass and smelling the trees (something we can't really do in our neighborhood) I felt n on my foot. I am so used to Dr. Pancake hanging around my feet that I wasn't startled. I looked down and there was a cute little rat sitting on my toes! (yes, I know it's weird that I think rats are cute) anyway, when I looked down is scurried away. I think it was an auspicious moment... but what could it mean?

Hope you are all well! I'm headed to Arizona to meet my new niece, Sophia, on Tuesday so I will hopefully post some more good stuff on here before I head to the desert.