Thursday, October 10, 2013

What I've been up to these last weeks and stuff

printed fabric drying in my entryway
 While my recent posts have been sparse and spare like little blips on a radar screen, this one will be crowded and tangled  like a squirrel's nest stuffed with leaves, fur, and string.  Which is to say that my brain is equally gnarled and creepy, perhaps.  We are in the final weeks of kitchen fixing, as Penelope calls it.  When I am not routing through the chaos for a spoon absent of grease or sawdust, I can be found gazing into my new soapstone counter top or opening and closing doors and drawers imagining what I will store in them.
print inspired by cross-section of a pomegranate
 In the craziness of our living room and dining room which have expanded to include kitchen, office, music rehearsal, and art studio, I printed the eight blocks linoleum blocks that I had carved onto muslin which I then fashioned into little cinch sacks to be used as reusable gift bags.  I sold a couple at Sunday's Nido Fall Market which I failed to market or mention or promote.  I guess I was lucky to be there.  I also forgot to take photos, but if you "like" Nido on Facebook there are some funny stop motion style videos of the various merchandise. 
A pile of printed fabric designed from nature: onion, hasta leaf and gerniums
 Speaking of Nido, we are planning a Dot to Dot show on November 2nd which will be Day of the Dead themed or Dia De Los Muertos for my bilingual friends.  I've begun a painting, but have big plans for prints, collages, dolls, and more.  Also, coming to Nido, The Peanut Gallery, which will feature small, affordable, and humorous artwork 6 shows a year which I will help curate.  I'll get you more info on both of these upcoming events as well as December's Winter Art Market at Nido as soon as I carve out more time to blog. 
incomplete skull painting
 I decided that I had to reclaim part of my studio in order to get serious work done, and it feels glorious!   To the reader the photo below may look perhaps as chaotic as the living room/ dining room/multi-purpose madness, but my chaos is absent of Legos and Tinker Toys, a huge victory. 
rearranged studio to accommodate printing projects
 Art in the Classroom is taking off this year.  We have our first project happening this month in the first and second grade combined room.  It has to do with the continents and passports and is very clever.  I take no credit in the design of this or the below project which my co-chair, Faith, put together for the book fair this week.  It is a little book mark monster.

 Here's the part where I ask for your brilliant ideas.  I want to have a communal altar space at our Day of the Dead show.  Any ideas on how our guests could manipulate some artifact to add to the altar and possibly take home.  It would be a way to remember the community of ancestors etc.  I'm thinking about flowers, candles, origami, pictures, etc.  It has to be cheap and easy.  (That sounds awful, doesn't it)
photo of a photo of a Mexican altar
 Looking ahead at my Cat Scratch Calendar:

1.  A meeting with West Elm which opened a store in Oak Brook.  They want to sell locally made goods and reached out to me and others after finding me on Etsy.  I'm not entirely sure what I have gotten into, but I do know that I am bringing my products to their store on the 19th to be incorporated into their displays.  They are mostly interested in my block printed pillows, towels, and totes, but I am going to take it all.  Why not?

2.  Finishing of kitchen should happen next week which means Pat and I will have to apply more paint to the walls, trim, and bead board.  We also want to refinish our kitchen table and reupholster the chairs.  This is a first for both of us; although, I remember watching my Dad work in the driveway with his transistor transmitting scratchy baseball games and oldies while he skimmed wrinkles of avocado, pistachio, and harvest gold off of countless pieces of molding and solid doors.  I can feel the steel wool in my hands, conforming to the grooves, forcing the stubborn paint to the surface.  I'm hoping to channel his patience, knowledge, and experience into this project.  No doubt, dinner will taste better after all of that hard work. 

3.  Lisa, my sister and mother hen of Nido Art Studio, and I are going to collaborate on a hand printed calendar for 2014.  We'll have them available for sale in December.  They'll be great for gifts.  So, keep us in mind.  I promise originality, coolness, and affordability.
my personal calendar/craziness


  1. Tissue paper flowers for the altar, like these?
    They make it slightly more complicated than you have to--all you need is tissue paper and string. We made a bunch of these to decorate my sister's rehearsal dinner.

    1. Mary, I like your idea and have experience making these. I think it would work well to make a colorful table. Also, I think it would be easy to add the name of a deceased loved one to the flower etc. cool beans

  2. This is neither cheap nor easy, but it is still pretty cool.

  3. Nick, I have never heard or seen of these before! I love it! It feels like fall/winter time and reminds of carving and the color orange and I imagine smells awesome. I think that including knives in a project excludes kids. I'm hoping this will be as inclusive as possible. But, I want to try this myself--perhaps a romantic dinner is on my agenda. . .

  4. Speaking of fun with fruit: