I am a secret agent

I promised Sam I'd post this on the blog for all to see. I watched it once last night and three times today, so far.

Good stuff.


some Dillard

I've been doing a lot of re-reading and quote jotting while I work on my Thesis paper. A great portion come from one of my new favorite authors (thanks Shauna), Annie Dillard. Here's a little sample, and food for thought..
(She went to Hollins College...did I already mention that to you?)

I would like to learn, or remember, how to live. I come to Hollins Pond not so much to learn how to live as, frankly, to forget about it. That is, I don't think I can learn from a wild animal how to live in particular...but I might learn something of mindlessness, something of the purity of living in the physical senses and the dignity of living without bias or motive.



...for asking me to design your thesis show postcard.

I'd forgotten how much I like designing things. It was such a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon, coffee in hand, David Gray station on Pandora, and lots of inspiration.


The new group of grads have turned out to be quite a bunch of pranksters. Poor Scott (who has the studio door pictured here) somehow got caught up in some unicorn joke with the others, and over the year more and more unicorn decor has been showing up in the hallway. It started with the plates on the far left, but last Friday, on his birthday, he was surprised with a giant magestical mural, and a t-shirt. Lucky for me, my studio is the one in the picture with the open door on the far right, so I get to be inspired constantly by this piece of work.


On creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert's talk @ Ted:

(do you know about Ted? Watch some other talks if you have time - they are usually worth the time)

Sun Spots

I don't often post dog photos here, but I love this one. I was doing a shoot with Kinley + Roux in their hats yesterday (I thought the garage might be a nice change of scenery for a shoot) and was concentrating on Roux when I turned to see if Kinley was getting into any trouble. She was just laying there like this, so quiet in the sun.

She's such a lovely little person.


you've got skill

One reason that I haven't shared many pictures of Waldo is because, I honestly can't seem to get a good shot of him. If we are outside he is usually playful and sees no reason why my camera is not some sort of ball he should chew on or chase, or I try to get him when he's sleeping but that's usually inside with bad lighting. All these attempts have made me even more aware how talented you are at what you do. In any case, I thought I would post a couple, because in their own right, they are good for a laugh.

And, just for fun, here is a picture of one of my favorite thrift store shirt finds. Bucking broncos in a sea of turquoise. I love it.

Sled Dog Archives

I came across these cards at our local dog store. I literally grabbed the entire basket of cards, sat on the floor and looked through all of them. The combination of historical photographs, the arctic + huskies is irresistible.

There are a lot of photos of this guy, Leonhard Seppala who was apparently The Man of dog sledding back in the day. I love this photo - it's easy to imagine he's a gruff kinda guy that secretly looooves his puppies. And his puppies loooove him back.

You can see the whole collection here.


snap shot

I know I've done a number of shanty posts now, but I couldn't resist another. One of my favorite shanties was run by some photographers who took portraits of everyone who visited. It was very simple and that's probably why I loved it so. (The one of me is an attempt to look bad ass, but I'm not sure I quite pulled it off). Ther are a ton of others posted over on their blog.



I just came across Tim Flach's work and am absolutely + completely humbled. It's a great feeling. I think knowing there are people better (much better) than you out there is fabulous - it just is proof that you can never stop working - and that, despite my complaining - is a feeling I thrive on.

I think actually I've seen Flach's work a number of times in various books (mostly horse books), but I tend to see other people's work in a whole new light with a renewed sense of awe these days. Take a few minutes just to flip through his portfolio - I promise it'll take your breath away.

(Also how completely brilliant is that entry page???)


this is why

monkeys freak me out. (read this)


cat power

At the top of my play list lately has been Cat Power. Thanks to Pandora.com for the introduction.

Land of Scots

Sam and I just had our first (and overdue) Scotland meeting, and while I'm getting super excited for beautiful architecture and loads of history, I'm also getting super excited for ale, whiskey, and stuff like this:

(Photo found here)

Artist of the Week (remember that?)

We seem to have let the ol' Artist of the Week feature go by the wayside, but I found these clippings in an art magazine at school that I instantly loved.

This one, obviously, has you written all over it:

The artist: Yuken Teruya (lots of other cool stuff there as well).

And this one:

The artist: Enrique Martinez Celaya
Love this, too.

In other news I have overcome great computing difficulties and am feeling much better, and far more inclined to write blog posts. I spent a good five or six days trying to install CS4 on my desktop, bought a new laptop, and now successfully have CS4 installed everywhere and working, and that is cause for a happy dance.

Also, dog hats arrived last week. Woot.


shanty song

I wanted to post this video because I think it encompasses so much of what was great about the trip and about the project. I won't go into the whole monologue, but basically we were trying to communicate the triumph of optimism, hope, and creativity that saved the lives of 27 stranded polar explorers in Earnest Shackleton's attempt to cross the South Pole in 1914. The men focused on being good to one another, and also on entertaining one another to remain in good spirits. It's a beautiful story to read more about, and fortunately enough they had a photographer on board that documented much of the experience.
The video shows a spontaneous moment that erupted in our shanty between Amber (a whiz on the fiddle) and one of the other shanty members. Definitely one of my favorite moments.


lessons from the lake

Well, I'm back, all of me, except maybe a bit of my mind. No frostbite or scurvy to report. My trip to Minnesota turned out to be pretty remarkable, and unlike anything I have previously experienced. As you have requested, this is going to be a bit of a hefty post. Beginning with photos and explainations.
This first one was taken moments after arriving to the lake (Medicine Lake to be exact). I still don't know if I fully comprehend that we were on a frozen lake the entire time, especially because we drove the truck right out to the shanty on a "road" of cleared snow. The light was beautiful, and the sun was warm so we went for a sunset skate before dinner.
The boys below are the founders of the Dance Shanty, and extraordinary place to bust a move (which we did on many occasions and at wee hours). Seconds after meeting them we shared in hummus, tortillas, and whiskey. The first of many communal meals.

This is Grant. He was a weekend addition to the crew just like me. He was a pure delight and had an incredible sense of fashion. The main staple of his wardrobe being the bow tie which he wore day and night. You just don't see enough bow ties these days.

The shanty was amazingly warm and homey for being on a frozen lake. Although, I should have expected this from Mary who is a master nester and and expert at creating welcoming and fascinating living spaces. The inside walls were lined with curiosities, photos, books, and more that reflected the theme of Earnest Shackleton and his crew of polar explorers.
It was so nice to see Mary, and experience this project of hers first hand, because there is no way that the actual experience can be fairly relayed through phone calls (or blog posts). Mary has a way of completely blowing people away with her creativity and conversation skills. The people of the Art Shanty project were no different. I heard many times over that this was one of the most successful and inspirational projects to ever hit the ice.
The front door of the shanty:
Preparing the ice rink for the Ice-capade:
This is the resident ice dog, Bell. She belongs to the director of the Art Shanty Project who also spent most nights on the ice with us, and I accompanied she, Mary, and her owner on a couple of morning walks. I spent the entire time wishing I could hire Bell to be Waldo's mentor on how to be the perfect dog.
Saturday morning, dressed for the public, sitting outside the shanty with Mary and Amber:

The public arrives:
Peaceful nighttime shadows from outside the shanty:
I believe this was a quiet evening of conversation and soup. Although it could have been the evening with moonlight dancing, naked sauna goers (not me), and 1 am french toast cooking...

Some lessons and thoughts I have stowed away from this experience:
1. Doing things out of your comfort zone is immensely important. Dressing in beard costumes, participating in Ice-capades, and instigating interaction/conversation with hundreds of strangers is not necessarily my forte. But, I gave it a go, and had fun doing it.
2. As a society, we generally have a skewed idea of what is important. From most people's perspective, building bizarre structures on a frozen lake must seem like a colossal waste of time. I, however, disagree. I think it is absolutely essential for people to embrace this sort of folly. It is vitally important to partake and share in creative endeavors of any sort. At one point, I was laying face up on the ice rink, fully doning a beard costume, watching giant penguins (people in costume of course) skate in and out of my field of vision. A small part of me was whispering, "what in tarnation are you doing? this is not normal behavior," but a larger part of me was saying, "if you ever forget to partake in moments like this you are in big trouble missy."
3. I exude far less generosity than I receive. For one thing, I have friends nice enough to watch my not so easy to watch puppy for five days without asking for anything in return. Then I have a dear friend near Seattle who feeds me (literally and mentally/spiritually) every time I pop in. And, out on the lake, where I thought I would be surviving on granola bars, I ate better than I've eaten in months, thanks to the other artists and people in the surrounding community that brought food to share daily. Also, Mary, Molly, and Amber who so kindly welcomed me into their tiny space and made the experience as comfortable as possible. I think I experienced true community out there. People were kind to one another, and were interested in understanding one another. It's a beautiful thing to see.

There's so much more, more than I can really communicate...especially now, as my eyelids are closing. Tomorrow, it's back to the grind at school, and I'm looking forward to sleeping in my bed. There might be a sequal to this post tomorrow....

Rhino in Rhino

Our first bonafied project in my 3D Modeling/Sculpture class was to create something in the vein of biomimicry. I knew I wanted to do an animal form, but didn't know what. The program we use is called Rhino - so I made a rhino in Rhino. I'm a sucker for slapstick humor, and why not? At least my little creature is accessible in a way that an ambiguous structure meant to be a nuclear cell block built for humans by animals just isn't. Also, I never have claimed to be an artist, so I think I can get away with making blobby little rhinoceroses for my projects.

There is something about this process that has really captivated me. The 3d software is not easy to use, but it's amazing to create something on a computer and then (using a 3d printer) convert that to a little, tangible object. A very strange connection there between the way we see things and expect them to feel and the way they actually come out.

This is my rhino:

And look who can balance a little rhinoceros on her head:
(I like to call this "Rhino on Roux")


live inspired

I'm busy, too busy for a real post.
But not too busy to say I'm loving this blog
and you will, too.

(image from liz song)


going arctic

Tomorrow this becomes my home for the next 5 days.....



(sorry about the butt shot...I don't know how you get so many good shots...)

There's been a lot of growing going on in my life this past week. For one thing, Waldo has gained probably 4 pounds and at least a couple of inches since I picked him up 10 days ago. It's incredible, and likely pretty painful, that puppies grow at such a rapid rate. I'm pretty sure every time he wakes up from a nap he looks just a tad bit larger. This is something I'm happy about though. Even though puppies are irresistibly cute, I'm much more of an older dog kind of person. I can't wait to see what he is going to look like, I can't wait to go on hikes and runs with him, and most of all...I can't wait for him to grow out of this insane biting and chewing phase. In fact, just a few moments ago I was on the phone with you mid-mental breakdown. I'm still very much in the adjustment stage with this whole thing, and at times it completely overwhelms me. Even though things are tough right now, I know I am doing as much growing and learning as Waldo.

Tonight I am packing all of my warmest things in preparation for the Minnesota trip. As strange as it sounds, I am really looking forward to my weekend on a frozen lake right now.


Dog Hat Euphoria

I just came across the most unbelievably wonderful Etsy shop called Beantown Handmade.
They make hats specifically designed for dogs. It's like my soulmate of Etsy shops.


Guess who's getting a brand new hat???

(this one is definitely in the running: