Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Shit I'm Diggin'

New Year's Eve is swinging around again. I cannot spend another NYE at home, I must get out! So sweet to hear that my old friend Tim is DJing at a club that night PLUS there's no cover charge. Yes! One hitch, its a masquerade ball. I get my duckies in a row & make some phone calls...voila! I have my Rococco dress back. (What? Don't you have vintage costumes laying around in various cities at friends' houses?)

I'm thinking about revamping a powder white wig that I have & start surfing the web for inspiration. I told Jingles that I would never do two type of wigs, stacks & afros. (Ofcourse, guess what most people ask for..) Today I found inspiration o'plenty. Kathleen Marie, you are a goddess! Her Antoinette Atelier blows my mind.

Yes. I love the 'pirate' wig the most too. Though on a tangent, the eye patch disturbs me. Everytime I see sequins hearts I think of the birthday gift of pasties that Jason sent me that I regrettably opened at the office. *Cringe*

At the Antoinette Atelier site she also sells wrist cuffs, couture outfits, and shoes. Here notes on this pair were "Never wear in the rain while fleeing a revolution. Leave them as your legacy."
Miss you more than $454 wigs & $2000 dresses, V

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

To be honest, the best birthday presents are the ones that you give to yourself. I've been dying to see music concerts that I only wished to see while I was in Fairbanks. So my birthday I went to see Emilie Autum & her Asylum girls.
I could go on & on about her rock harpsicord but the show was not just about the music. She really has only one album out so the long show was actually that, a show. She has four girls accompany her as they play act up to the songs with a stage packed with props.

Captain Maggot was an illiterate pirate that did the trapeze act & stilts. The Blessed Contessa was the cannibalist missionary that did a different trapeze act. Apriele was the ballerina. Veronica Varlow was the busty burlesque fan dancer. All that plus tea, cupcakes & pink balloons all being thrown to the audience. Certain moments it dragged others I missed the Cold Fusion girls & wished they were there. The most incredible part of the evening was the energy of the audience. You would of thought you were in the crowd of boy-band fans....that joined in with juggling acts. Bizarre.

A Year in the Dentists' Office

Two weeks before I left Fairbanks, tooth #29 caved-in when I bit a tortilla chip. The pain was excruciating but there was nothing the dentist could do since I was moving. So he handed me my x-ray & told me good luck. Bless Oralgel or I wouldn't of made the drive with the pain. It took till Florida to get it taken care of it. They did a root canal to kill the pain but they couldn't put in an implant because once again I was moving. Finally my sister got me in contact with the Community College of Denver School of Dental Hygiene. I could get my teeth clean & analysis for $25. I thought what a deal!....Only if you're a masocist.

It took three trips to get my teeth cleaning. First trip I drove down from Estes Park so they could simply look inside my mouth to see if it was healthy enough for a student to work on. The second trip was with the student, Pam, for four hours to do the analysis. Like all students, they make you think that your teeth are going to fall out tomorrow. She gave me six tubes of toothpaste, four boxes of floss, a bottle of lysteriene, a bottle of Chlorhexidrene Gluconate, & a tube of Fluoride. I know more about the acid in my mouth than I ever wanted to know. Plus, did you know that Calculus is not just a math but also the technical name for tartar? The third & final visit was the agony. Going to a Dental School does mean that everything is supervised but also still that a student is working on your mouth. Oh the pain! At one point she wanted to use a bite guard so that I would stop trying to close my mouth. You need to understand, I like going to the dentist....this ruined that feeling. If that was the end of it, but then the teacher needs to look inside & work on it. They point out the parts that were missed & then the student is back at it again. Would I ever go back? Probably only because I'm poor.

The beauty of the visit is that they gave me a referral for the UCD School of Dentistry to get my cavities & implant taken care of. I went there at the new Fitzimmons location. I used to eat dinner at Fitzsimmons when it was an Army base for flight school. So I was completely lost with all of the streets rearranged. The facility is nice & everyone is very professional. I will tell you how the service is once my appointment comes up. Thus far all I have to say is I was there for then to see if my mouth was healthy enough to work on (again) & be explained the payment regulations & it cost me $20. I paid $20 for them to tell me how I'm going to pay them?!

Miss you more than not eating or drinking for 20 minutes, V

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Fall is definately over

As I sit here in bed at eleven o'clock at night with Itchy cuddling to my side while the wind blows the snow outside I just wonder, did it all really happen? Two weeks ago I was living in my cabin in the mountains & now I'm back in Denver. The Fall blew by way too fast. That isn't something that I was expecting when you live & work in a place that is constantly changing.

After I finished Family Camp I had a nice week off in Denver. Then I came back to my nice cabin that I shared with NO ONE (Itchy doesn't count).The cabin was called the Ponderosa & it was heaven. A double bed & my own bathroom. The bathroom was a bit of a discouragement because everytime to sat down on the toilet it made a clanging sound like you were the size of an elephant. That all got fixed the day it started leaking. Then the shower had its own tiny water heater that gave out two minutes and thirty seconds of hot water. First I bought an adorable strawberry shaped timer that ended up stopping one minute till. So I got in a habit of counting the moment I turned on the water. After two and a half months of this- now I can't stop counting everytime I take a shower. Then the wind was fierce one night and I heard a door banging. It was the locked down on the back. When I investigated the next morning the door opened to an old darkroom. I don't know a woman alive that doesn't twinge when they discover a darkroom adjacent to their bedroom. Thank goodness I had Itchy, everytime a child came close she'd bark them away from her cabin.Working at camp in the Fall is completely different than the summer. You have school groups that come up between five to three days with no more than 120 campers. So your staff size narrows down from 250 to 8. That is a tight knit group of serious outdoorsmen. The majority of the counselors have degrees in Outdoor Science. I didn't even know that that degree existed. Wonderfull people that have no problem working any job that you put forth, but boring as hell. I have to admit that I'm probably one of them. Couldn't discuss tv with any of the school parents but there we were playing moonlight volleyball in the snow, heated Scrabble games, & a bizarrely Bradyesque, mid-July Christmas party.

No table manners at all! My coworker & boss Ruth Ann is the bomb but she won't let anyone eat in the kitchen with us if they don't have good manners. There is only so many times you can say, "Julia sit down while you eat." & "Julia close your mouth while you eat." to a 23 year old woman. But Ruth Ann treated me so well. She gave me breaks through out the day that I didn't have during the summer just so I could walk Itchy. A gem of a woman (eventhough she doesn't like children). I can only compare her to a zombie in the kindest sense. You know when you watch zombie movies and they only go one speed. The victims run & run but they can never out last the zombies. That's how we were. I would get focused on making 150 cookies for the day, working at top speed so I can help Ruth Ann out with the rest of the meal & by the time I was done she had completed the whole thing!

I have a hundred stories that I should of been writting this whole time but I just didn't like hiking down the hill to get a connection. It was a fantastic time. $50 a day but they've asked me back & I said that I might do it. They even offered perks! I get to be the only one on camp with my own cabin OR live on the edge of the mountain with my friend Alyse & our dogs & alchol privileges! Start May as a cook with Ruth Ann, then spend the summer as the Crafts Coordinator, then return to cooking in the I get a $5 a day raise! What has me confused is whether I'm supposed to be excited or not.

Miss you more than smashing a roach on my bedroom floor, going out for a hike, when I return ants are dissecting & moving the roach like an LA chop-shop- V

Monday, October 19, 2009

Goth & Lolita Choco Party

I went to my first Lolita Party. Hard to believe for someone that has been fascinating about it for soooo long. My friend Andrew & his wife J9 have closed there Japanese pop culture store, Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast, so now they are throwing parties outside of the store & pop up sales. I'm sad to lose their store but happy that they now get their weekends back. This Lolita Choco Party was hosted by them. How could I turn down such a wonderful combinations: held at the Boba & Crepes restaurant (my two favorite foods), with some 30 girls in Lolita clothing & everyone brought homemade chocolates....except for me because I'm allergic to chocolate. But that didn't mean that I could eat some of them. I had to grab one of the cake-pops because they were so beautiful. Then I tried a chocolate dipped potato chip...won't need to try that ever again....or the chocolate dentures. I do want to try to make the dipped marshmellow pops at home sometime. I was a strawberry flavored marshmellow, dipped in cotton candy flavored white chocolate, dipped in sprinkles, wrapped in shimmery celophane with a ribbon & a cupcake ring to close it. When I came home at 10pm & described this to my future brother-in-law he laughed & yelled to my sister,"Honey! Tori's not going to sleep for hours!"

I made some new friends. Some girls I met want to get together & make hats together. Then my new friend Jenny clued me in on this wonderful website. It is definately in the shit i'm digging category. Check out Retroscope Fashions:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shit that I'm digging: Comics Bound

The 24 Hour Comic Challenge is ELEVEN days away. Time to plan & think ahead. Like weither or not to publish this year. Research has been done & I thought I would share some of the new distribution avenue to my friends that publish their work.

The Cons
You can register for a table at a convention to sell your wares. Depending on the show, you can pay between $10 to $300...or you can just show up to trade with other artists. The Small Trade Expo in Bethesda, Maryland ( and the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco ( are friendly to minicomic creators.

The Web
Selling on the web involves either setting up your own web store or through an online distributor. Distributors like Secret Acres ( or Global Hobo ( have a loyal client base already. The drawback, a cover charge half your cover price.

Comic and Craft Stores
Many comic book stores are willing to sell minicomics. What you earn depends on the shop.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And the Best of Show goes to WOMEN IN DESIGN!!

In a previous post I had mentioned that I would tell you some stories about bears at camp. So here's one: I was sitting at the desk in my cabin, Ponderosa, working on the headdress for the Women In Design's Pret-a-Porter Design Competetion entry. An evening of weaving carpet fibers into soldered wire had worn me out, so I grab Itchy & go into the bedroom for the night. Right as I'm starting to lay down the walls shake with three tremendously loud roars from a bear..right out my front door. Itchy jumps up for an attack (I'd like to think instead of a flee) & I muffle her under my blanket. Two thoughts pop up in my head, 1) Listen for your car alarm to go off. If it doesn't go off, I isn't the nasty bear that smashed the windows of two cars last month. 2) WHY COULDN'T THEY PUT ANY LOCKS ON THE DOORS IN THESE CABINS!! Luckily the bear walked to the side of my cabin & smashed open my trash enclosure scattering all of my bathroom waste all over. [Side note: I do put the chair infront of the door every night now just incase.]
End of story...but what was passing through my mind this Friday while our model Shannon was taking the runway. In the end, we won the competetion against forty other competetors in the design profession. An easy feat when you are working on your own in a cabin in the woods, pleased with your finished product. Unbelieveable when we pulled up to the Exdo Center & there's a line formed on three sides of the building to get in.
To explain what was done. The Pret-a-Porter is a design competetion for Architects, Interior Designers & Engineers, aka those in the design profession, to make a haute coutoure outfit with the materials from an interiors manufacturer. The manufacturers & teams are paired up randomly. The Women In Design got Karastan Carpet. I was brought onto the team after the inital brainstorming was done to do the headpiece. The theme for our design was the seen & unseen sides of carpet. The look was towards the Poirot designs of the 1920s. The seen design was the coat made out of the carpet. The unseen was the lingerie made out of carpet backing.
The fur is all hand latched carpet fibers. The curves on the jacket are done with wire mesh...being worn by our 90 lb model, Shannon:)
The beautiful corset was all hand punch needled by Jenny Gray my homegirl. Way to take the leap Jen!
Here's Shannon walking the runway after they announced we won best in show.
A close up of the headdress from the side. Two tier with braids...It was supposed to have a fur headband but at the last moment it was too much fur, so Jen rocked out some pom-poms.

We all celebrated the night away afterwards. Like my future brother-in-law said, I asked for two fingers of gin, starting at my pinky & ending at someone else's thumb. It was worth the headache. The only problem is how to top winning your first time out? A bigger headdress?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Family Camp

It was sad to see the last bus of kids depart at 5:30 in the morning...but lets be realistic. It was 400 hundred screaming, rambucious kids & it was 5:30 IN THE MORNING. What I was more looking forward to was moving into the Ponderosa. My own, sweet, sweet cabin just for my lonesome. The first bed in a long time that was resting on the floor & my own shower. Enjoyed it while it lasted because the next day I was off to Trails End for Family Camp.

Family Camp is what every camp employee dreams of. It is the first time that you can relax for the whole summer & enjoy the people that you are with. It was especially important to me because it meant a little bit of reality for me. No heat & no personal showers...just like Alaska:)

I was blessed to have a truck with 4-wheel drive because the hills to get to Trails End were murder. It was nessled in a valley in the old Dunraven hunting grounds past this adorable little town called Glen Haven. [Which if you are in the area I suggest you get a cinnamon roll from the General Store. They're worth it.] I was the last to arrive to camp so I got the last choice in racks. I got the top bunk next to the window-less window (30 degree nights) with a rip down the center of the mattress. It sounds unpleasant? I will swear on a stack of bibles that this was the BEST sleep I've had in a year!!! Here's a photo of where we all sleep. Its called the Wagon Yard. The campers do sleep in covered wagons. The counselors sleep in the cabins but I must mention that Cheley believes in equality. There is no insulation in those walls. They are glorified garden sheds.
The lodge was another beautifull piece of Cheley architecture that was built next to a brook during WWII.

We had one morning of training & then that afternoon, Lindsay & I trekked over the hills with our lawn chairs to open the gates & welcome the families. Most of these families had children that were too young to go on their own to regular camp so they spend a week together. There was one family, the Janda's from Chicago, were a father & 15 yr-old-son that came together for the hikes. They were my best friends for the week; who can resist a teenager & his father a comedian dentist.
This week I got to step out of the kitchen & be a counselor for awhile. I was put in charge of Crafts. My first day was a morning of under 8 yr old Crafts. I picked out the best project to start with- hankerchief pillows! Which would of been great if there weren't the obsticals. 1) I was teamed up with Riflery, which meant that only boys showed up. 2) My assistant had a moment of supreme stupidity & told them that their was a dragon locked up in the closet called "The Dungeon". The boys tried to karate kick even pick the door apart. I blamed it on the fact that she's Welsh. 3) Confuisus says 'Boys that wear Crocs do not know how to tie shoe laces'. Therefore they did not know how to tie hankerchief pillows. So I spent my morning tying 8 pillows only to have them shot apart at the Riflery range. End of day one.

My other craft days went splendidly. I even did a nature sketch hike in which deer appeared in a clear for us to draw. I'm getting paid for this?! Ofcourse I wasn't just there to do crafts, I was also a hiking counselor. Hiking counselors don't have much of a sense of humor. When I told the program coordinator to put me on an easy hike because I have asthma, she understood my meaning. But things got juggled around & the other hiking counselors decided that I would be good at a morning of Technical Climbing on a cliff & hiking up the Cathedral. I swore to them openly that I was going to be sucking air....Climbing went fine, but the Cathedral. Once we got to the top, I was hiding around a boulder so that no one would see my attempts to not have a heart attack. Beautiful view of the Rocky Mountain National Park though.
Then the next day they decided to have me doing Techinical Climbing again! This is when I discovered what kind of mother I would be. I was on-bole which means the guy on the ground holding the rope so you don't fall to your doom. In the case with kids, it means the guy on the ground PULLING a 60 lb child up the face of a cliff while the kid thinks they are actually climbing it. So I was pulling this adorable 5 year-old up the 'Christmas Tree' when he decides he's had enough. He was shown in the beginning how to repel down but at that instant he starts to rotate around & they inner momma turns on & I yell, "YOUNG MAN YOU WILL NOT BOOTY SCOOT DOWN THAT CLIFF! TURN AROUND AND REPEL LIKE I SHOWED YOU HOW TO!" I almost grudged when I said it but his mother was on anchor behind me & didn't say a word so I went on like I was a calm individual not a momma that wears combat boots.

The best was when I was Fishing Counselor. Here was my chance to lay on the grass & hand out bait for the afternoon. Hehe. I should of not been the smart ass that said,'Hey look! You caught a leaf fish.' because the whole rest of the afternoon were little boys screaming, 'VICTORIA! I caught another leaf fish!!' And off I went up a tree to get a line untangled. But wait, it gets better. It rains! The kids are waiting, dry, in the van, while I'm out in the rain suffocating the trout they caught in a plastic bag. Not exactly a life changing experience but here's the best part..its Family Camp- when we got back to camp I got to hand their dead fish to their fathers' to clean. It would of been a better victory if it wasn't for discovering little Jackson was using my back pocket to store his bait.

Many more stories could be told about Family Camp but after the Families left we all turned from counselors to dudes. The horses had to be ridden over the mountains back to main camp. The covered wagons had to be broken down, the mess & boathouse completely cleaned. Rifles cleaned & entire camp shut down. My best memory from that day will be feeling completely exhausted, riding over the hills on a flat bed truck saying to a one-armed woman with hay in her ears, "Are we getting paid for this?" and her response was, "Yeah, isn't it great?!"

Miss you more than showering with bats, V

Friday, July 31, 2009

Term 2

Returned to Alaska this week!...Not exactly but had a lot of people up here in Estes thinking they were in the Pacific Northwest. Fog cover at 500 ft, constant drizzle, high of 50 degrees. I finally was comfortable! I knew how to dress. But for the campers enjoyment, it did return today to the upper 70s and sunny.

Its been almost two months now that I've been living & working at Cheley Camp. Some good days & some bad but being around so many diffrent individuals & learning new things in a beautiful setting is priceless. I'm cooking in the Boys Camp called Ski Hi. Here is a picture of the lodge that I spend everyday in.

Frakin' gorgeous isn't it?! Looks like John Wayne could come walking out the front door at any moment & play a game of ping pong on the porch. You might laugh but you put a bunch of boys in the mountains for a month, they become serious Forest Gumps at table tennis.
Anyway, I work there from 6am in the morning until 2pm. Then I wander back to my cabin to take an hour nap followed by a walk somewhere & sketching OR working on my design for the Pret-a-Porter competetion until 4pm. At which time I go back to the kitchen to make dinner & finish around 8pm. After work I grab my flash-light & take a hike up the hill past the barns to my studio & work on my mural. Then its back through the barns in the dark to my cabin & my bunk.
In these two months its been an equal exchange of giving & receiving. I have received the knowledge of how to handmake 250 yeast rolls, bar cookies, vegetarian meatloaf- you name it- in an hour flat. PLUS how to scour a mean pot. In return I have been giving design advice & artist abilities. You'd think that in a camp that has 249 liberal art majors, that they would find another designer/artist other than the one 'science' field professional. I laughed when I got called into a meeting to design the float for the Rooftop Rodeo:) Cheley did not want to stand to losing to the Boy Scouts again....and they didn't, we won! (Sorry no photos)

As I said, I'm doing a mural for the lodge. Its going to be 4ft by 6ft of one of the advertisements from the 1920s. Photos to follow. I do feel like I'm a bit of a disappointment to them though. They had done their back research of my work on street painting & were impressed with what I could do in 8 they are probably wondering what is taking me so long. Its paint people! But they have put me up in a nice studio with nice materials & respectfully don't ask me after a 12 hour shift how the painting is coming.

I do enjoy the daily change though. The job is to train children about the wilderness but also to entertain them. This is Nate's Cheley Spooktacular decorations that he did just for a meeting!
I told him that I wanted to move into the lodge permenantly if he kept the decorations up. He was amused & concerned at the sametime. But we moved on to Halloween snack discussion. These are the mice & eyeballs that we were playing around with. The mouse is a chocolate dipped cherry, with almonds & a hersey kiss & sprinkles....and here I am eating it. I think latex gloves look attractive on me & am going to wear them when I leave too.
Cooks are like artists; each one an individual that thinks that their methods are the best. I get along the best with a couple from Lawerence, Kansas- Brian & Linda. They have been teaching me everything that they know.Some other cooks...not such nice things to write about. I lived with one for awhile that was the bane of my existance. Complained every moment of the day about EVERYTHING. An example would be the evenings at the cabin. She would not go out in the evening because of the massive amounts of bears at camp, but then she didn't have anything to do. So she would get bored and start rearranging things or sweeping...which made her complain that she was always cleaning up after us. Eventually she moved out because of that & the fact that I'm an insomniac. Karma is karma though & a bear came into her cabin last night. Dont worry, she's unharmed.
I'm going to go hike up to put my laundry in the dryer but stay tuned when I tell you all about the bears.
Miss you more than my bear a day diet, V

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Gone to Camp

Do you have a job yet? Neither do I'm working at Cheley Colorado Camps in Estes Park this summer as an Assistant Cook. Most people don't believe me. They say, "Your designing a summer camp." No, I'm an Assistant Cook at the Boys Camp. "Your the Crafts Counselor at a summer camp." No, I'm a Lunch Lady people! So completely unbelievable that I'm holding this job that they did a national article about it plus it was run on CNN.

I'm not kidding here. McClatchey's contacted the camp about a report they were writting about the economy & older, more qualified workers applying for summer jobs. So they said that they had the exact person to talk to...ME. At first it was going to be an article mainly about amusement parks but then the journalist, Tony Pugh, gave my interview to the editor that they decided I was to be heading the article. That meant the next morning I was up in Boulder donning my apron for a photoshoot for the article. Doesn't this picture look like I'm about to carve up the Flatirons & serve it with some gravy?

McClatchey's is a version of the AP so it was run in over 31 newspapers over the US, except Colorado. But I determined that anything that involved my name & looking for a job as an architect is good advertising.

I've been at camp since June 6th so I have a lot to report....BUT I've got a cold, worked a long day of making cookie bars & rolls for 200 & really need to get in a shower before I do some soldering then go to bed.

Miss you more than AutoCAD, V

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shit I'm Digging

I went with my sister, her fiance, my best-friend & her husband & my sister's fiance's best-friend to the NIN/JA concert @ Fiddler's Green. Fiddler's Green is a terrible venue because they have sound restrictions plus they have the concerts end it was like 'An Afternoon with Nine Inch Nails.' I am happy to see that it is a venue for the Outdoor Arts Museum. I love twig sculpture & here is a beautiful one that they have outside the gate.

Catching Up Part 1

I've been away from the computer for quite awhile. Right now I'm in the Pow Wow computer lab @ camp....but more of that later. A down-load of pictures is needed first.

From the Florida files: This is one of the brussel sprouts that I had for dinner that we got from the green grocers in Lantana. It was delicious.

Those that actually eat brussels sprouts are amazed at the size of this one. Those that don't assume that its a cabbage.

I also volunteered at the Morikami Museum of their Hatsume Festival for 2 days. The decided this year to involve the rising crazy of teenagers interested in J-Pop culture. So they had a Cosplay contest on each day. I need a bumper sticker that says "Will stop to take pictures of Lolitas."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Leaving Leisureville

How does one sum up the experience of living in a retirement community? If I had the time I could write a book. I think that I would title it Leaving Leisureville: The Ancient Art of Being Ancient.

First there is the reality of living with a couple thousand people that are your parents' age. Which means you are living with couple thousand people that think they are your parents? The ones that don't, think they might have the chance to be your Daddy. My favorite experience was going to Barnes & Noble & sharing my table with two single seniors. While one is asking you questions about where you are from & your experiences; the other one is asking you to sit on your lap- and then they switch the good cop/naughty cop routine. This lead my mother to ask me everytime that I got home wiether I met any Sugar Daddies or not. Sugar Daddies are now pictured in my mind as men asking you weither the WiFi comes through the electrical outlet or not.

Then there are the interests of retirees. I never could get myself to go to the Hymn Sing-a-long but I have improved my Shuffleboard game. Here's an example of the oddites of Leisureville. This is my first and probably last Confederate jig-saw puzzle that I'll ever complete.

I came down to Florida without any warm weather clothing (remember 3 years in AK). So I had to purchase some new clothes. Florida clothing is designed for women with a different sauce than I'm into. This faux tropical ideal the New Yorkers think they are living in instead of a sprawling chain of Walgreens. And then capris! I HATE CAPRIS! How have women been conviced that men like clothing like capris that make your ass look fat & so unflatteringly expose your veiny ankles? So I took a note from my mother. Her in her fabulous golfing outfit going to the links. (Yes, it does have golf carts on it.)
So I bought pants with cupcakes on my keester. Pink! My Mum bought me a pair of matching pink fli-flops. I liked them soo much that I did a journal page dedicated to my "Winky Shoes."

The bonus of being in Leisureville was that I got to be with parents. Working out with my Dad seeing him return to health. I'm really fortunate to have this time. And if you have to be unemployed, be unemployed on the beach:)

Miss you more than "Winky Shoes", V

Friday, February 06, 2009

Ft Worth Street Painting Fair

Brandon & I used to sit down at the end of all the street fairs that we would paint at & say how nice it would be to actually go to one for the first time instead of work at one.....then we would look at each other & our finished pieces & take it all back. Ofcourse, that finally did happen! My parents read an article & made the travel plans & surprised me one Sunday afternoon by taking me to the Ft Worth Street Fair. Here are some of my favorites:

Georgia O'Keefe...good use of my motto- "Broad expanses of colour."
Dali- this is the first time that I've seen someone do a surrealist.
I know that this work is a bit too Kinkade for me but I like the artist technique of starting with black back ground & adding the colour like a true pastel artist.
I had a nice conversation with this guy. The only morph work at the fair of a Koi Pond. No way that I stood could I get a good shot of this piece.
Jenny, this is for you. Pre-Raphaelites.
Homage to the Munsters:)
Homage to Betty Page....really made me miss Brandon.
This is one of those pieces that I would be willing to do a jig-saw puzzle of but never a street painting.
Just wanted to show you that each piece had a team of at least three artists. Was that required for this fair?
These girls rocked!! That's a magazine ad that they were able to make it seem like the golden dress actually glistened. But they had their headphones on so I could question them how:(
I wasn't so impressed by this work because I've seen it so many times but read the thought bubbles above the cherubs: "Do you think she will finish?" "I don't know. It's been 9 hours."
This was the first street painting fair that I went to that didn't have censors. Nudity!! Woohoo Fort Worth!

Shit I'm REALLY Diggin'

My friend Barb just sent me an email to this link about a dude that made his own Vespa out of wood.

Daddy....can I have one!!!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shit I'm Diggin'

The colours for 2009 are Black & Gold. The COSTUME for 2009 is the Girl Scout uniform. I'm not talking about the current uniform that revolves around a vest. BaH! What are we preparing our young ladies to become- greeters at Walmart?! NO! What I'm talking about is what I proudly wore every Wednesday in elementary school. Mary Janes, wool knee-high socks, jumper/penifore, sash & beret. You were part of the in crowd at Bromwell if you had the most GS pharaphinalia on Wednesdays....& I was pretty cool, I even had the short sleeve blouse with GS insignia as poka-dots plus the cardigan. Apparently you are hip now if you wear a version on the uniform. I have lady friends calling me from Dallas to Chicago telling me to join them in their troop.

One I saw today were the ladies from Pod Post a Mail Artists company. With these troopers you can earn merit badges from zining, book making & self-publishing. I want a merit badge with a Xerox machine on it!!!

If one of these troups give me a uniform in Burberry, I will be JAM-BO-REE-ing!!!! Check them out @

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In Memory of Syd Harrison

Syd Harrison was the kind of boss that you would never wish ill will upon. He was my mentor & the one person that brought back my love for architecture from the brink of extinction. In a weird turn of "6 degrees of separation" my first interview with him lasted 3 hours when he noticed that I went to kindergarten with his daughter. That's just the person Syd was, an inspiring gentleman with a keen eye to detail. A trait that he honed in me hours spent on construction sites. Every project with him were tests to right side of the brain. Pushing my envelope for research & design; from follies for dining to converting ranch style homes into Japanese pagodas to boat haul design. He was a pleasure to work with & learn from. Being the sole employee, when I wanted a new desk chair he came back with a designer original that could of come out of the Millennium Falcon & when you turned around you could get a massage in it. An awesome man that would encourage intellectual discussion on ANYTHING. When he was sick, he would still come in to give me company & train me in the diverting rules between American & European croquet. At that time, all I had was Itchy & a scooter yet he put full trust in me. A big heart & a major love of croquet, that was Syd.
Syd passed on December 30th. A man that donated over 300 pints of blood in his life & he dies from a plasma disease. For men like Syd & my father who used quite a bit of blood this year, please donate.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Happy Year of the Cow everyone!! This time last year I was sitting around a light-bright table @ Endor (Mary's house) warming Sake on the potbelly stove & trying to convince my friends to eat the baby anchoives I had personally fried for the Japanese New Year. This year I went to celebrate the Japanese New Year with whom? .... the Japanese.

I really wanted to go to the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens for two reasons.
1) See how they did Mochitsuki.
2) Buy getta to drive my mother nuts with. (There wooden flip-flops on stilts.)
I didn't get the getta because they wanted $16 for them & I won't bother my Mum for over $5. But I did get to see the Mochitsuki.

Mochitsuki is the pounding of the rice to make mochi, a sweet rice dessert. It is called Mochitsuki because while its worked it looks like a round sphere like tsuki- the moon.

First they put the steamed rice in this ceramic urn that they pounding into, two wooden mallets that you can see off to the left & water to keep them wet so the rice doesn't stick to them.

Then the pounding starts. You see the old Grannie in her yukata with an apron over is over seeing the work. There were a handfull of back up Grannies in the shade but no Shonen (Japanese boys) to do the pounding....I won't comment on that BUT it was good that they had back up Grannies- this one got her hand hit once by a mallet. Ouch!

Here is a slow moment where the mallet is getting wetted & the Grannie is turning the mochi. After a while during the pounding she has to stick her hand in there after ever pound to rotate it. After she got her hand hit once she started calling out when the boy could hit next.

There were plenty of other events going on. (Sorry, no fried anchoives Rachel.) But what would be a Japanese celebration without Taiko Drumming?! I would love to do taiko. It looks so ventive. But then I look at the costumes of just a bib top & think about how I would look pounding a drum with my flabby upper arms.....moving on.....The had a Shishimai dancing with the drums, i.e. a lion dancer.

Here's a list of some of the Japanese events & my definitions:

Hanetsuki Two wooden pattles & a oval wooden object that looks like a fishing lure. This would be Japanese badminton, no net though.

Fukuwarai The goddess of happiness game. Japanese Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Donkey

Jan Ken Pon Activity similar to rock, paper, scissors.

Daruma Otoshi A stack of wooden blocks are hit from the bottom up with a hammer into a box with a dragons head in it. The object is to hit them all at the dragon without the stack falling over.

Karuta Japanese card game similar to Memory. Do you remember that?

Omikuji Japanese fortune telling sticks. I did this & my stick said that I was going to have an excellant year. It better be right!!

Miss you more than the chance do Kakizome & the Sado Tea Ceremony,