Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Breathe.

image originally uploaded by Lomo-Cam

I take a deep breath.
All the way down to the deepest part of my lungs.
And I dive under, moving my body in a perfect wave.
For a moment, I am still.
I am weightless.
I feel alone, yet surrounded by so much peace.
There is no pain.
For a moment, all is well.
It's quiet.  And simple.  And beautiful.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Test Print

I finished the heart last night just before going to the most awesome 90's party ever.  So today, I decided to do a test print.  It turned out pretty well so I thought I'd go ahead and print it on nice paper, too (the test print was on newsprint paper).  After looking at it, though, I think I may make a few tweaks before calling it finished.  Thought I'd share the test print with you all:


finishing up the carving- I always have a towel underneath for all the shavings (however, I inevitably end up finding random shavings of wood all over my house anyway!)


finished (kinda') woodblock

test print on newsprint paper

the wall above my printing station- kinda' weird with all the hearts and lungs:)
thinkin' about doing a phrenology head next...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Heart Update


Almost ready for a test print (hopefully by tomorrow!).  I'm interested to see how this turns out, as I don't usually use such a skinny V-gauge to carve my blocks- excited to see how this translates on the paper.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sneak Peek at my Heart

The beginning stages of a new print I'm working on.  It just so happened to coincide with Valentine's Day, so I thought I'd share...
(I decided not to do a tutorial for this- I tend to "over-explain" and that would probably be too long and drawn out for this process, so I'll just do little picture updates along the way)

-stained the wood block (birch plywood)
-drew in the highlights with chalk, and the darker areas with a sharpie to guide where I will carve/cut


-carved the outline

I plan on more cutting tonight while I watch some TV which will provide for much needed relaxation after a busy day focusing on inventory, taxes, and frankly many terms I'm still learning about.  But at least I'm going into business with my sister who understands me completely and lets me blog a really embarrassing picture of her while on the phone with our accountant! :):):)  Love you, Hamster!  Couldn't imagine a more perfect V-day than hanging with you and my sweet, sweet nephew! 

Quick story- after we picked up my nephew, who is 2 1/2 yrs old, he was telling me all about his party at daycare, when he stopped mid-sentence, cocked his head, and said "Happy Valentines, Ahmi" (his way of saying Emmi)- completely un-prompted and completely sincere.  I melted right there in the car.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Strollin' Through my 'Hood

It's such a beautiful day here, so I went for a nice long walk. After weeks of snow and ice on the ground, I decided to bring my camera along to document the big thaw we've got going on here in the StL.  Thought you all might enjoy some photographs of a nice sunny day:












And now... an homage to public park drinking (and no, these are not mine!):





One of these days, I'm going to remember to bring some latex gloves and a plastic bag to pick up some of the garbage.  It's so disheartening to see this, and unfortunately, it's all throughout my neighborhood. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  I'm off to work in my studio now- when the sun starts to set, I often get my best inspiration. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valen-Crafting!

Last night, I was invited to a party to make a bunch of Valentines.  It was a blast and I think I made just enough to give out to friends and family.  Things were going along swimmingly until I realized mine were looking sort of routine, boring, and predictable.  So I decided to turn things up a notch and found the perfect combination of imagery, glue, marker, stamps, and love for my "piece de resistance" (it's at the end).





and my favorite...








Happy Love Month, ya'll!

Naiveté and Some Changes (aka A Long, Open, Rambling Letter to "J")

I always thought I was being smart by not putting personal information on the web. No address, phone number, or birthday. Those were the important things, right? The type of stuff that could get you into trouble if it got into the wrong hands.


But I didn’t realize that putting my emotions out there would ever give me this much cause for worry. But that’s exactly what it’s done- and I’ve decided to make some changes.

I’ve mentioned before that on the inside, I’ve got a very soft, vulnerable, and trusting heart, and I’ve expressed some of my innermost feelings, frustrations, and fears on this blog. In person, I am a bit more guarded about sharing such things.

A recent event (meeting a super-hot, smart, funny guy) has gotten me thinking that my full name need not be connected to this blog. When I started this blog a little over two years ago, I was in a relationship that I naively thought would last forever. I’m glad it is over (and it‘s been over for more than a year); we’ve both moved on and it is for the best. But this blog, like me, has evolved over time.

I eventually decided to take this blog from “private” to “public” and for some reason, was not afraid to have my name connected to it. I thought nothing of it. This is who I am. This is where I am in my life. I wanted no shame. I wanted to put it all out there.

Then… I met “J“. And I soon realized that with any amount of “googling”, he could find my blog. I wanted so badly to not feel embarrassed, but then I got panicky. All my shit was out there. My heart, my feelings, my soul. Way more than what I wanted to share with him at one time. Information was out there connected to my name and it was scarier than if it had just been my phone number, address, or birthday.

There are things that would have eventually come up during our getting to know each other, but that’s considering we’d even go on a first date. I wanted to tell him about my son; I wanted to tell him about some of my struggles; I wanted to tell him about some of my triumphs. I wanted to talk about my art, and his dissertation. But I’m afraid I won’t get the chance now.

And that sucks. Because he’s the first guy that made my heart race like that in a long time. And I’m sure he won’t be the last. But I’ve decided to take my last name off this blog and not have it connected to the other blog I share with my sister. I’d like to be a little more anonymous so that when I do meet another guy, all my cards won’t be on the table before we even have our first date.

I’m not a complete moron; I knew this info was out on the web, I just never thought about it in terms of dating. Never.

Oh well. Lesson learned, right? I’m great at learning things the hard way- unfortunately, that’s often the way I learn. I know I’ve got photos of myself on here, too. Not sure what to do with those yet- they are all connected to parts of my story. I’m not ashamed of who I am. But I am going to try to be more conscious of what I put out there and how it is all connected.

Please be patient with me as this site goes through some changes. And thank you to all those who have offered (and continue to offer) support to me throughout my journey- sincerely, Thank You.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sending Out Love

Okay, okay, I know he's turning thirteen next month, but he will always be my #1 Valentine. Here are some of the things that will be flying, with love, over three states this week:


he won't admit it publicly, but he still likes shit like this;)


that boy loves him some candy!


cute little mini-notepads; his step-momma loves monkeys, so I thought he could share some with her, too


how freakin' COOL?!? an eraser


Amanda from Kind Over Matter made this card (I can't link to the card, because you have to be signed up for their newsletter to get the pdf for it, which you can do right here) to share with her readers- it spoke to me; I always tell Q that no matter how many miles may separate us, he is always in my heart.


thought I'd include this little pic of us "way back when"; it's kinda' making me teary-eyed!


just a little paper-mache heart I made, then painted white


I filled the box with all the little goodies and the padded hearts I made here

I'm now seeing that the box is jankity-jank, so I'll likely get a fresh new one at the post office tomorrow. Just thought I'd share a little love with you all!

Who are you all making Valentines for this year???

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Printing by Hand



In addition to studying painting and art education in college, I studied printmaking.  Though I didn't get to take nearly as many classes as I wanted to (they say it takes an average of seven years to get through art school; I took ten), I did manage to fall in love with making woodcuts.  I've made a few here and there since my college days, and thought I'd share a recent print with you.

Unfortunately, this is not a tutorial, though I suppose I could work one up for the next print I do, it's just some pics of the process.  The final product is nice, but the process is what makes it so cool, in my opinion.  There are so many steps, and the actual cutting of the wood can be extremely meditative.  Note: Don't drink and cut.  I learned this the hard way one night with a bottle glass of red wine; the tool went straight into my bare foot- I was sitting cross-legged, at home, on the couch.  That was eleven years ago, and I've never made the same mistake.  Great- now I've probably jinxed myself.

Anyway... Amanda, at Kind Over Matter recently introduced me to my new favorite band and their songs feuled my process.  You can have a listen if you like (she's got more of her favorites over at KOM):



Disclamier:  I am a night owl, so most of the lighting on my pics suck.  Sorry.  Okay, here you go:
Um, yeah- waxed paper on a baking sheet isn't really the professional way to do it, but hey, you gotta' work with what you have!




I use a Japanese printing paper called Kitakata (kinda' makes me want a kit kat).  Instead of rolling the block and paper through a press, when you hand print, you use this little tool called a "baren".  The nicer ones are not made out of plastic- they are made out of reed, bamboo, or beech wood.

Again- workin' with what I have; I don't have any drying racks in my studio, so onto the blinds they go to dry!


Hope you enjoyed this little journey.  I'm doing a heart next, so maybe I'll think about having my camera around for the full process.  A tutorial would be fun!