Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Blog has Moved!

Just a reminder to all of my wonderful followers that this blog has moved to a new address!

Check it out here:

Thanks for all of your support, and I hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Good sense would tell me to go to bed because I teach in the morning at 8am. But the next few days are going to be very stressful and busy, so goodbye good sense!
First off, I've been photographing my dollhouse before I rehab it. I wanted to get some straightforward before and after shots to highlight the changes. Here is the before:
doll house 09
The house has these little pictures on the walls of the previous owner's grandchildren, their boat, and a dead deer. I feel a little bad taking these off.
doll house 15
I've got a bunch more to edit.
I'm also in the process of repainting a bunch of thriftstore frames for another project.....
primed frames
On top of those things, I've got some paintings started in the studio. I am hoping to get some images of those up soon as well. So much to do! I think I already need a vacation.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gallery Season

This last Friday was the kickoff of the gallery season here in Chicago, and after two years of living here, I finally made it out for the openings with some friends. Somehow I only took pictures of art though, so that is what you are going to get. :)
{Frank Trankina @ Packer Schopf}
We started out the night by touring one of our professors - Frank Trankina - studio. I've always loved seeing where people work, and the processes they use to make their art, so it was a really neat experience. He has a massive collection of vintage toys, my favorite being the Blatz beer elf.
{William Staples @ 65 Grand}
Our first stop was 65 Grand, an apartment gallery in the west loop (we spent the whole night in the west loop). The artist was William Staples, whom I've actually received a visiting artist critique from. Right before I got to say hello and reintroduce myself, the group I was with hit the pavement, so if you are out there Will, hello and nice show.
We went on a gallery blitz from here on out, and mostly, I wasn't too impressed. The majority of the work I made little or no connection with, for the exception of a few pieces here and there. Kind of disappointing.
{Karen Savage @ Packer Schopf}
The exception to my disappointment was the work at Packer Schopf, they had a really solid showing of work, my favorites being the pieces by Karen Savage and Diem Chau.
{Diem Chau @ Packer Schopf}
I loved these pieces so much.
{Diem Chau @ Packer Schopf}
I'm planning on hitting the North Loop soon as well. Overall it was still a great night, and I'm really glad I had a chance to get in to the city.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Welcome to the Dollhouse

As you may have figured from my absence here, school has started - thanks for all of your encouragement and kind comments on my last post, you guys are swell. This last week or so has been quite the whirlwind, but I am starting to get back into the rhythm of things. Teaching is going well, despite having my class switched on me last minute, and I'm making some headway on developing work for my thesis show.
I am really excited about the project I'm taking on. Want a preview? Well you're getting one:
doll house 03

doll house 04

doll house 06

doll house 05

doll house 07

And one for fun:
doll house 01
Can you believe I finally found a dollhouse? I've been flirting with the idea of getting one for so long, and have been stalking craigslist ads all summer to find the perfect one. Originally I had thought I would purchase a kit and make one - documenting the process as I went - as a part of my thesis work. Instead I've decided to rehab this one, document the process, and then use it like a 'set' of sorts for a series of paintings I am planning on doing. I can't wait.

Also, the garden is still doing swimmingly despite it being so chilly this last week. Isn't this the most perfect pear tomato! It is so cute!
loot 02
I've got 6 good sized zucchinis waiting for me along with a large number of tomatoes. Time to make some salsa and bread....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Last Day of Summer

flowers 02
Today is the last day of summer break that I'll ever have as a student. It is strange to think about. I'm entering the last year of my MFA degree as you know, and I've gotten entirely used to the cyclical nature of the school year. All along I've relied on summer as a time to recapture my sanity. After I am done with my degree, I will try to get an adjunct teaching position, but with the economy the way it is now, many totally qualified people are having to look elsewhere to make a living.
So much of the next few years of my life is completely out of my hands. I've been having a bit of anxiety over the whole situation, especially when people ask me about what my plans are. In the midst of the chaos of this last week of summer break, I've been cooking a lot. It calms me down.
Chocolate Chip, Zucchini, and Flax Muffins:
choccolate chip, flax, and zucchini muffins
Pasta with homeade fresh tomato basil sauce with tomato and mozzarella salad:
pasta with tomato salad
We've been getting so much food out of our garden as well. We've been eating well. This is about what we've been getting out of it every day:
loot from the garden
Plus the tomatoes and the cucumbers have started to ripen as well. I made some homemade hummus this week too so that I could make some veggie sandwiches with hummus, cucumber, tomato, and feta cheese on them. I've been eating those for lunch almost every day.

I also spent a good chunk of this week in the studio, which was good. Ann and I met there one day and had coffee afterwords. Ann is a fellow classmate and makes really beautiful artwork. I hope you have a chance to visit her blog - A Beautiful Party - she needs some cheering up this week too.
'Hellcat' - By Ann Flowers

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to the Grind

lace painting 06
I'm grasping on to the last little bits of summer. I've got a few short days to prepare for the semester - classes start this coming Monday and there is a lot to do. There is a lot on my plate this semester, and I hope I can keep up with it all. I am both excited and intimidated by this last year of school.
As far as my studio work goes, I've been off to a productive start. I just finished this painting, part of a series of lace paintings that are framed in formerly gaudy salvaged frames.
lace painting 04
These paintings are done from observation: hand drawn from commercially produced vintage lace. They are done in ink, with a brush and an ink pen. I draw the general layout with pencil first, and then fill in the negative areas each by each. They are part of a larger series that is exploring handmade items, and their commercial counterparts.
fungus 03
I am also working on a wall sculpture/installation that deals with some of the same issues, but from a different approach. I've sewn, structured, and stuffed eight little pieces so far, and I am in the midst of seaming them all together, and crocheting doily panels to cover the tops of them.
fungus 01
It has been a really peaceful and cool morning, and I'm hoping to make some progress on these today. I think I'll also be posting later on my garden. It has gone nuts! We've been eating so well these last few weeks!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


August Storm
I took this photo a week ago to the day. I was driving home in the evening, and the sky to the south was bright with heat lightening. Most of it was hard to see through the dense hazy sky, but it was so beautiful.
When I got home, Nate and I sat out behind our apartment (which looks out into this field), put the camera on a tripod, and tried to catch the lightening. I only got a few successful shots, but it was really nice to sit and watch the sky light up.

Monday, August 10, 2009

In the Studio

I've been chugging away with some ideas I've had for a while now. Lets see where this goes.
studio 03

studio 01

studio 02

I've also been getting a lot out of my garden lately. Everything is ripening and maturing all at once.
My favorite (at the moment) is the swiss chard. I feel like I am eating candy because of the colors.
garden 10
And I've been using herbs every day as well.
garden 9
Clockwise from the top left: thai basil, italian basil, cilantro, chives, and lemon balm.
My sunflowers are taller than me as well. :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nate's Show at the Fixx Coffeehouse

A couple of nights ago the husband played a show at the Fixx Coffeehouse in Milwaukee. Both my younger sisters, my sister's fiance, and my dad made it out through the fog and the rain to see the show.
nates concert
It was a nice relaxing night of acoustic music. He played with a good friend of his, Tony Memmel (Nate just got done recording his new CD), and they switched off throughout the night.
nates concert
It was nice to see my sisters as well!
Amy and Zach:
nates concert
Molls... :)
nates concert
We also got to see my sister's new house, which is really nice. Nate and I have been daydreaming about houses a lot lately, but alas, we have no idea where we'll end up due to the crazy nature of the economy and the unpredictability of both of our professions. Ahh well. One can still daydream right?

Check out their music here:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In the Studio

lace painting4
I've been working on some unresolved work lately, and I think I'm getting more towards where I want to be. The piece above is about 4 x 6" including the frame, it was done from this salvaged frame from the thrift store. I really like how it turned out.
This next school year is going to be the last year of my MFA degree, and I am both nervous and excited for it. I am going to be teaching Life Drawing again, which is going to be great, but at the same time balancing teaching, graduate assistantships, my classes, studio work, my marriage, family, and friends can be exhausting and overwhelming. I am trying to really get a good start on my thesis work (or at least work out all of the big kinks) before this semester starts. Sometimes I've got a tendency to psych myself out about the amount of work I've got ahead of myself, and it can be crippling to my studio work. I really want to avoid that this coming year.
lace painting3
So I'm starting some work ahead of time, and really trying to figure out a general direction for my thesis show. These paintings may or may not be a part of it, but they were something I had to do just to see if they would work.
lace painting1
The second painting is much larger, but still has an oval format. The frame I'm using is this one, which I thrifted a while ago. It is painted in the same color as the frame above.
They are both dealing with issues I am really interested in. Longevity, decoration vs. fine art, absence, presence of the hand vs. machine made items, and so forth.
Hopefully they will take me somewhere new. Also, I am more than open to feedback on these, let me know what you think of them!

New Vintage Items in My Etsy Shop!

I've been trying to cut down lately on what I own, so one solution to this is to finally post some of my collected vintage items in my Etsy Shop.
Fancy Purse 1
I've always had a hard time getting rid of things, but I'm in dire need of a new laptop, so I'm looking at it as a fund raising opportunity.
Suede Boots 1
I've always been a hardcore thrift shopper - most of what I own has come to me either second hand or through craigslist or relatives. I've always seen having a limited amount of funds as a challenge rather than a limitation.
I love that if you look hard enough, you can find things that are really amazing. I love spending an afternoon treasure hunting. :)
White Gladiator Sandals 2
Maybe I'll go thrifting tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In Full Bloom

garden 8
The garden has been growing like mad these last few weeks. We are just on the brink of having a constant supply of beans, tomatoes, swiss chard, and romaine. So far it has been a cool and wet growing season. The tomatoes are coming in pretty late because they need a bit more sunshine. The zucchini on the other hand is producing like mad. We've already gotten 6 zucchini, and I've made veggie wraps with grilled zucchini, chicken zucchini curry, and 3 zucchini spice cakes. If you have any good zucchini recipes to share, let me know! :)
Here are some of the rest of the goods:
Lemon Balm
garden 7
Yesterday I grabbed some leaves from these and made myself some tea. It was d-lish.
garden 6
These have been sprawling like mad, but no cucumbers yet. Pretty flowers though!
Yellow Pear Tomatoes:
garden 4
I can't wait for these to start ripening. I don't know if many will make it past the garden without me eating them!
Baby Romaine Lettuce:
garden 1
These shot up like mad - hopefully they won't bolt now that it is getting hotter outside. The seeds I bought are bolt resistant, so keep your fingers crossed for me.
We've also been enjoying the chives and thai basil on a daily basis. :)
bruschetta pizza
It is so great to be able to have a garden at our apartments. It is going to be hard for me to leave when I am done with my MFA if I end up going somewhere where I can't have a garden.