Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'll be away...

...from my computer for most of the weekend because I'll be selling at the Artist's Boutique in Kirkwood, MO (St. Louis suburb). If you're in the area, stop on by.

Above is an image of my aunt's (Betty Shew) work. She makes cast paper art and she'll be there too. It's a family affair where I come from.

Grapefruits are also pink!

A color I prefer.

Daily photo: 2/28/08

How to Eat a Grapefruit (in my opinion)

You will need:

1 plate
1 bowl
1 spoon
1 sharp knife
1 napkin

*Place the grapefruit on the plate. Use the sharp knife to cut the grapefruit in half, parallel to the ends. Hold the edge of one half of the grapefruit gingerly with the tips of the fingers on the left hand (if you are right handed) and use the sharp knife to cut around each triangular section, being careful not to cut the membrane, but to also not leave too much fruit attached to the membrane. With napkin positioned to the left, dot fingertips to remove moisture in between touching the grapefruit. Sprinkle surface liberally with salt. Scoop out triangle sections with spoon, one at a time starting with the smallest ones. Again, dry finger tips with napkin. Repeat with other grapefruit half.

*Now squeeze the juice from both halves in to the bowl. Add more salt, if necessary. Either drink from bowl, or use spoon to enjoy.

You may not know this, but I have some OCD tendencies, and this is pretty big one for me.

Daily photo: 2/27/08

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New Website

Now that you've all discovered Gail's wonderful blog, here is her new website!

Some people draw,

I make spoons. I love spoons. I love to make spoons. I have struggled to make work about spoons, which has resulted in one successful piece, but I still don't feel done with spoons.

So, periodically I grab a chunk of silver and, much to N's dismay (who has to share a studio with my noise), I pound it into a spoon.
It occurred to me as I was making this most recent spoon that, for me, making a spoon is like drawing for other 3-D artists who draw to release artistic pressure and work through an idea.

I don't know what idea I'm trying to work through. I know I like to make them because they are the most "metal" thing I know how to do. I like working with the silver, which I rarely do in my other work and I like pushing the metal's malleability. It amazes me that a square piece of silver rod can be transformed into a predetermined shape based on the way I orient my hammer. It makes the metal seem fluid, or like clay, which it is, but I don't always think of it that way.

I am pleased with the gesture of this spoon, which is deliberately 'swooshy.' What I do know about why I make spoons is that I'm trying to find my own voice with them. Not necessarily something to say about them, but just my style or point of view on spoons and the gesture is one of the things I am most enjoy about the spoons I've made so far.

My favorite book of spoons is Herbei, herbei, was Löffel sei, a collection of spoons by Herman Junger. Good luck finding it. It was apparently only printed in Europe and very limitedly, at that.

Daily photo: 2/26/08

Monday, February 25, 2008

Daily Photo: 2/25/08

My kitchen table is actually a pretty good visual description of how I feel this week: cluttered and unorganized.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

An annoyance

We have a lovely, solid oak, antique dining room table that my mother rescued from an elderly relatives basement when she was sixteen, then painstakingly refinished. Unfortunately, in our current apartment, the only place for the table is in front of the only window in the living room, which means it is impossible to keep the cats off it.

And this drives me crazy!

Daily photo: 2/23/08 and 2/24/08

Friday, February 22, 2008

In the studio

Researching in the studio today. One of my favorite books, The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolf.

Daily Photo: 2/22/08

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Another icy day outside. Who knew Southern Illinois would be so wintry? So I spent most of my time here, looking at this. Now you can, too.

Tomorrow, ice or no, I'm off to the studio!

Daily photo.

There are limits.

We had gorgeous weather for viewing the lunar eclipse last night. Try as it might, though, my poor little camera was completely inadequate for documentation. Those little specs aren't stars, just pixelation.

So I captured this cat demonstration of the event. Imagine Junebug as the earth and Izzy as the moon. That would, of course, make me the sun. (yeah, right)

Daily Photo; 2/20/08

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Reality Check



The top photo shows my kitchen storage rack bathed in a dreamy, early morning light, that I thought sort of made it look ethereal and ghostly.

The bottom photo is the reality of my kitchen storage rack at that moment--complete with empty milk cartons and crap on the fridge.

Just keepin' it real.

Daily photo: 2/19/08


I cannot begin to count the number of trips I have made to the post office in the last 6 months. The desk clerks know me by name.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Valentine Flowers

These weren't given to me--they were left over in the produce department after Valentine's. I ditched the carnations and kept the daisies.

Daily photo: 2/18/08

Sunday, February 17, 2008


The view atop my computer screen.

Daily photo.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Made my banana bread with chocolate chips this time. Pretty good.

And so pretty with my Michelle Swafford cup and saucer.

Daily photo.

Friday, February 15, 2008


For the record, she's not really this pensive.

Daily photo: 2/15/08


Thought I'd post about this sweet little jug from EmmaLitten's Etsy shop that I'm drooling over. Isn't is adorable? For a complete listing of all the things I'm pretty sure I can't live without on Etsy, click here. I'm sure you're all sooo interested! ;-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Enviornmental art

Evidently one of the area residents took our recent ice storm as an opportunity to channel their inner Andy Goldsworthy. They made ice columns on either side of their driveway. I like 'em.

Daily photo: 2/14/08

I like it 'cause it makes me feel smart.

For Christmas this year, my sweet momma got me a subscription to my favorite magazine, Cabinet. It is "a quarterly (magazine) of art and culture" full of wide ranging articles, and no topic is off limits. Even their website is full of cool stuff, like this article on Sigmund Freud and porcupines (one of my favorites), and just look at the nice, heavy cardboard envelope it's delivered in! This is truly one of the luxuries of my life right now, and it's not even that expensive.

Thanks, mom.

Army of binding wire

Daily photo: 2/13/08

Valentine's Day

My valentine to N. Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Blog

My good friend from undergrad, Gail Ralston, has just started a blog. Gail makes amazing jewelry inspired by flowers and natural forms from rubber, monofilament, pearls and whatever she can think of! She has a great etsy shop too, and a website coming soon. Give 'er a look-see, I don't think you'll regret it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snow days

or should I say ice days,
mean sleeping in!

Daily photo: 2/12/08

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's my job.

Today I unloaded this 6-foot tall pallet of produce.

Daily photo: 2/11/08

Sunday, February 10, 2008

cute little bunnies.

Yeah, real cute as they're being used for medical experiments in the 1950's. PBS does not sugar-coat.

Daily Photo: 2/10/08

Another Rattle

Even the yellow parts on the brush heads move back and forth.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Oh, the many hours of my recent life spent tangling and untangling this cord--the camera to computer cord.


I think chocolate fountains are weird, and kind of disgusting.

Daily Photo: 2/8/08

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thanks for the french press, Megan!

Daily photo: 2/7/08


While I'm on the subject of things that interest me, I'll take a moment to mention souvenirs. I am/have been very interested in souvenirs as a class of objects for a while now. I like them because they are objects of significance, and nothing else. They are not useful, nor were they ever intended to be. They are only meant to recall a past experience, a lost experience that cannot be repeated. Souvenirs are generally some of the least authentically made objects that are meant to authenticate life's experiences: they provide physical proof that something happened, or you did something, and amassing a collection of souvenirs means you've done a lot of things. I like the contradiction that something more or less materially worthless, like a cheap souvenir spoon, can be very emotionally valuable.

But I did not buy the spoons pictured here to mark an anniversary, or my trips to Texas. I bought these spoons as part of a collection of 28 other souvenir spoons on Ebay. I don't know if they were accumulated by one person, or thrown together by their seller, and other than for reference material (which is why I bought them), I can't think of why anyone would buy someone else's collection of crappy spoons. But presumably they do. And I have kept them long after I needed the reference.

Periodically I look at these spoons as they hang on a wall in my studio and wonder what, if anything, they mean now.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Some people really get into frames and framing. I'm not one of them. Too fussy for me and I always get hair or something on the inside of the glass.

I like frames, though, as an idea. Frames, of course, mark limits and focus attention and they are essential parts of virtually everything humans find to be aesthetically pleasing. Movies are framed by the screen, books by their covers, and, importantly, both are framed by clear beginnings and endings.

Like many people, I struggle with feelings of insecurity, anxiety and ambitions that tell me I should always be doing better than I am. These feelings can sometimes be increased when I read my beloved blogs listed on the right. Each shows someone's life as seemingly lovely and composed and free of junk mail or scary piles of cardboard boxes precariously stacked in "the office."

But I have been thinking that maybe my issue isn't one of inferiority; maybe it's an issue of framing.

And that is why I have begun my daily photo project. I am looking for the aesthetic value in my life the way I see it in other's. If I can find beauty in my dirty dishes, even if that means taking the picture through the obscuring lens of a second camera, then maybe my life isn't so very different from "theirs."
Daily photo: 2/6/08

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I will never accept, or understand, why once every month, I have to have a headache for 3 days. Some things just aren't fair.

Daily photo: 2/5/08

Auf Wiedersehen

N. and I have been living a dream for the last six months with a cable package that included extended basic and Starz movies. Alas, it was a discounted deal and our time is up. Our previous cable company extended the deal or found us a new one when it ended, but not our current company. So it's back to basic cable for us.

Christian, am I never to know how fierce you can be... *sigh*

Monday, February 4, 2008

Daily Photo

THE Best Chocolate Chip Cookies...ever.

What follows is the recipe for my family's favorite dessert, and my most signature recipe:
Great Grandmother Barber's Chocolate Chip Cookies. There is no equal.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In bowl mix*: 1 c. softened butter (2 sticks)
1/2 c. white sugar
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

add: 2 eggs, mix*

add: 2 c. flour (I use 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour and 1/2 c. all purpose flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg

mix well*.

add chocolate chips--approx. 1 12 oz bag, or how ever much you like.

*do not use an electric mixer. mix by hand, with patience and love, and preferably the same wooden spoon used only for sweet dishes so it becomes 'seasoned.' (yes, I am particular about this)
bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 7 to 10 minutes-- (I like to bake for 8 min., then open the oven, close it, and bake for 2 more min. I've tried not doing this, and they end up burned. This may just be me, though...)
--until they look like this.
Enjoy. And you will.