Friday, November 30, 2007
Sounds of the Season
By the time I was in 8th grade, we had a few records that we played until they wore out. Soundtracks - Gigi, The Music Man, South Pacific, West Side Story. Dave Brubeck - Take the A Train. And Herb Alpert. Cheezey, but I loved it back then.
So here's my first gift of the season (you can turn down my blog soundtrack if you just scroll down the sidebar). She can barely keep her eyes open - those eyelashes must weigh a couple of pounds! I'm crazy about the pensive beachside close-up though. . .
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Dreams of a Mid-Century Modern Child, Or, Portrait of the author as a Pretty Young Thing
When I was a kid, I was a HUGE reader. I mean, I wasn't actually huge, dammit, I was little, but I read any time I could steal away from chores and little brothers for a few minutes and open a book. I know I've told you this before: we were poor, really REALLY poor. Yet there were always books around - we had library cards, brought books home from school, and had a grandad who would send us home from our visits to his house with pennies and obscure volumes from HIS dad's collection stacked neatly in the attic. Colette wrote, "Books, books, books. It was not that I read so many. I read & re-read the same ones. But all of them were necessary to me." For me, it has always been as necessary to read as to breathe.
I read my first words at the age of 4 and among my many selfish prayers can be heard the fervent "Please God, let me never go blind" request. If I were a strict and smart observer of the rules of The Secret, or even just a good person, I would rephrase that. "Thank you God, for continually letting me see the truly wondrous beauties of Your world, and also, the printed page." In other words, when all else goes, it will be very nice to still curl up in the big red chair and lose myself one last time in another world.
Remember that question we were all asked a million times throughout our childhoods, and now ask other kids ourselves? "What do you want to be when you grow up?" So much hangs on those words. The practical and magical dreams of the pure heart of a child are embodied within the answers given. Ballerinas and scientists, cowboys and teachers; soon enough tomorrow's dream becomes yesterday's old hat. Sebastian (he's just turned 5) wanted to be a ninja last year, now he says an author (and is already concerned with who creates the cover art!) and (small mystery here as none of us have been aware of him having knowledge of such a thing) a glassblower.
Myself? For years, I never varied in either the big picture of my future occupation or my answer, "An Author," I always exclaimed emphatically, looking the enquirer straight in the eye, daring them to question my aspirations. Though I did dance briefly with a gothier version, a Poet.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Pretty at the premiere
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
hope you love 'em!
Now here's a totally cool thank you card
I received from Lisa Hoffman:
And last but not least, moi:
Today is one of those day filled with the kind of thoughts and daily challenges that make me count my blessings:
Everyone out there, stay warm, take care.
Yours in contemplation,
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Just Mandarin Oranges and Green Beans, Or, Didn't even Buy The New Book
Here's the Narcissism Series for a Saturday night how-to:
It's my photo of myself, taken against a backdrop of my (previously scanned, enlarged and posterized) paint tubes and leaves, and the whole image again, posterized. I look a little freaked out, don't I? Really, I was just glancing up when I snapped the shot:
Shopped for a coat for a couple of hours this afternoon (and new sheets for Bonanza Jellybean, a treat for Holiday House Party guests). Luck? So far, not so much on either count, but I did find a cozy little Free People sweater at 75% markdown.
Now and then I come across something I did awhile ago and then forgot. Here are two atcs which resurfaced today, each featuring rubber stamps. 'The ice angel dreams of peace' was made with Ink and The Dog stamped images; on 'Wear the Old Coat', I used stamps from Roben-Marie at Paperbag Studios:
Friday, November 16, 2007
Speaking of the Windy City
Baby, It's Cold Outside, However, a warming trend is expected for the weekend
Happy Friday all you kidz out there in Internet Land!
Are you SOOO proud of my determination and for once, stick-to-itiveness? While it's true I may have failed (head bowed in shame, forgot) to post on Nov. 2, 8, 10, 11, that still means 12 out of the last 16 days I have posted at least some little something. As Dante would say, "3/4 of the time". As Adam Sandler would say, "Not too shabby!"
Yesterday I let Dante borrow my blog for the night - he only put up the video of himself with no commentary. I asked him if he would actually add some writing if he had A Blog of His Own. The result? Yes, he is now the owner of his own blogspot. Still refining it - his most frequently uttered words while setting it up were: "I can always change this, right?" My feelings exactly. One of the pluses? When I looked over what he had written this morning, the spelling was PERFECT! Forgetting what year it is for a sec, I was all, "Hey, how come everything is spelled perfectly?" He looked at me like I was more than a little dense, but very patiently replied, "The red lines. . ."
Oy! What was I thinking. . .
Anyway, my real subject today is a coat - rather the lack thereof. Rather, MY personal lack thereof. "Let me 'splain."
Growing up, we had no money for clothes. No exaggeration, we really didn't. I mostly wore the cast-offs of otherwise-sized girl cousins. Magy, my grandmother, was an expert seamstress - as a matter of fact she and my Grandad had a clothing manufacturing business for a time. Occasionally she made me a dress which actually fit and oh, those cute little smocked ginghams were swell. But rare. In 7th grade I actually learned to sew for myself, but was ill-advised by the home ec teacher. Only when I started reading SEVENTEEN and following my own (pretty good as it turned out) instinct did I start to look passable on a regular basis.
When I was 17 I moved out of my mum and dad's (they were still together back in those days). It was 1971, one of those years when traveling peddlers showed up - at least in Albuquerque - with these AMAZING coats from Afghanistan. Embroidered leather. Big pockets. Lined with - something - sheep, or maybe mountain goat's wool. I was making $1 an hour at the University of New Mexico Child Care Co-op, but my rent was cheap, the farmer's market and L&V Mexican Food provided maximum sustenance for next to nothing and I made my own (relatively few) clothes, except for the India Import pieces I borrowed from my girlfriend Maureen, whose sister worked at the actual India Imports store in Rhode Island. And a store bought pair of jeans. So it wasn't very hard to justify the splurge on an Afghani coat. It was SUCH a good deal. I got extra lucky that year, with my boyfriend Jerry letting me borrow his awesome pea coat; I luxuriated in choices (Ooh, I should have kept that warm navy pea coat; you could get lost in it.) New Mexico may be a desert but it can get cold and between there and Chicago, I wore my Afghani coat until it was threadbare, literally falling apart and stitched back up until the stitches were merely holding other stitches together. Ohhhh! I was sad to see it finally disintegrate into dust on the floor. Well, okay, I admit slight exaggeration there. By then, though, we were living in Oregon, where of course it's always chilly but layers and sweaters were made to suffice. I loved the style of wearing one's pants under skirts for an extra cozy layering technique and still often find myself reaching for both. Anyway. There were alot of kids to worry about dressing too by then, and by the time we moved to Colorado, I was just totally out of the coat habit. The first few years we were here, I kept up my old hippie layering habits despite the fact that everyone around me (well almost everyone) seemed to be wearing jogging suits (yes, I was sticking my fingers down my throat as I typed those words). It was the 80's, that's all I can say about it. I cried at first from having no friends but then pulled myself up by the bootstraps and got some, but didn't get a coat. Oh, it's true, I ended up with some outer layers which are sufficient as long as it's not really COLD outside, or it doesn't need to be buttoned, or one is simply lingering in an open doorway. ("Close that door! Did you grow up in a barn?" - that's Colin's voice you hear, echoing loudly across the Web.) Now, after over 20 years here, skimping by and always freezing, typing with my fingerless gloves, wearing grooveliscious foot warmers thanks to the kindness of Sylvia, I feel like a coat is a highly desirable commodity. At this point, every wrap I have is literally shredding. After over 70 straight days of snow on the ground last winter - lots of snow, not just like oh about half an inch - I am apprehensive about going coatless again. Bet you're saying to yourself, "Why don't she just shut up and go get a coat already?" Easier said. Some of it is just the time factor. But also, I really do spend most of our $$$ on necessities, not just for us, but the extended fam, and on a few others, too - with the exception of art, and of course, books and movies. I totally adore secondhand, vintage look jackets and coats, but they aren't always particularly economical (at least not west of the Mississippi). So I need to find myself the perfect coat, either new or not, that is toasty enough to stave off the shivers of a high desert Colorado winter, actually fits, will not deplete the pockets irrevocably and last but oh so not least, is pretty. Def, I'm open to suggestion.
In the meantime, look what Jennifer Gordon did! You might wanna get yourself Popped!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
This stuff's made in New York City!, Or, A Change of Pace
No, kidz, this is NOT another self-portrait of me, though I realize the resemblance is uncanny.
It's Laksmi, a Hindu Goddess of Prosperity, good for the season of Thanksgiving fast upon us.
As Stevie Wonder asks, "Isn't She Lovely?" She is also an object lesson, which probably only those newest to the Mixed-Media art arena need to be reminded of, but for all of us, just in case: This particular Laksmi came from a box of rice. As you can see, only a portion of that box ended up in the recycle bin! Spelled out the lesson is: boxes, labels, newspapers, everything is grist for the art mill. It's also why the hardware store is one of my fave one stop supply shops. From spray paint to hinges, from cunning little nails with numbers stamped on the heads to metal screening, from empty spice bottles for catching fairies (or fireflies) to ALL KINDS OF TAPE!, Ace IS the place.
Soooooo. Pretend for a moment you are totally sick of my Narcissism Series! I can't imagine why you would be, but grab that vivid imagination of yours and run with it. Although I haven't stopped Photoboothing, I thought we could skip a day and I would regale you with something besides my (somehow endlessly fascinating) face.
For today's Show & Tell, I would like to share with you some kinda cool things. First, the little Red Bird art you see directly above is a very sweet, yet cool 3d miniature "canvas" Erika Tysse adhered to a plain cream colored 4 x 6 notecard. You can contact her through her site if you want to buy some for yourself, to send or to frame. Here's another one:
Still in a shopping mood? Finally in a shopping mood? Here is a gorgeous (if I do say) 5 x 7 notecard with a (fairly) "empty" area in the upper left hand corner to add your own greeting. I use my Dymo labeler. Merci Beaucoup and Feliz Cumpleanos have each proved useful phrases:
The pretty little 4 x 6 Watch the Stars postcard pictured below, and the notecard above, are both my own designs and can be purchased here, at my Cafepress Shop.
If you feel the need to shop just a bit more, may I recommend Jennifer Gordon? I can't show you this entire (wrapped) canvas just now, as it's a secret surprise gift I commissioned from her for someone special but I can reveal a snippet below, and tell you that she does lovely work, whether commissioned or created for the lucky person who gets one of her ReadyMades!
Last but not least, I have been really challenged at getting packages of treats out to the winners of my Ragtags drawings, not because I don't want to follow through, and don't eventually (days, weeks, or sadly, months later) actually mail them, but because I just get so occupied every day, with taking good care of the boys, with all the daily household tasks, the pets, the yard; you all know what I'm talking about. . . so as sort of a tide over, I'm going to start including on the Ragtags blog itself a couple of "free" images once a week (or more, if I get an urge!). They might be snapshots, postcards, flotsam, jetsam, even snippets of my own art for you to incorporate into your own masterpieces, one way or another - I will include all the information I have about the images and I am posting them at a high enough resolution that you should be able to print them out quite nicely. Today I have (they may not always be such vintage or even retro style), for your "art-it-up" consideration:
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Soylent Green is PEOPLE, Or, peeking into a shower stall of the Rich (I hear) & Famous (def.)
my 10 minute shower,
to Photobooth for a few minutes.
('Scuz me while I drip dry.)
Jennifer Aniston has that All-American Windblown Surfer Girl look perfected. If I looked EXACTLY like she does (instead of, hmm well next to nothing like), maybe it wouldn't hurt my feelings, all that s*** she has had to take over her comment that she gets her pearly whites so pearly during her 3 minute showers. Which really is a GOOD THING. And assuming she only has one shower a day, I find it perfectly plausible she is telling the truth. The white and sprawling beaches to which she is a frequent visitor look pretty dang clean to me in those surf sprayed paparazzi shots, and I for one have gotten 99% of the sand off in an even 2. The main diff. between Jen and me as I see it is, she is not using her shower time to provide the primary heat source for her day, (I'll spare you a snide and lame jokey self-examination and eventual retraction of that statement in this episode of Ragtags) - the jolt of warmth which, when combined with a thermos of scalding cinnamon infused espresso, enables one to face the whipping winds and bonechilling temperatures of a global warming crazed Northern Colorado winter.
Speaking of, September (who is looking for A Few Good Men - aww, face it, Seppie Woo, really one will do) went out with one of our neighbor Ed's co-workers (at the Irrigation Shop), John (yes, really) Saturday night. She says he has the cutest little postage stamp apartment (Don't exaggerate so, Seppie, it's really brick, right?) downtown, is totally funny, and willing to discuss anything. He wants to go out again, but she is leery as he insists that Global Warming, if it exists, was certainly not caused by us (us Soylent Greenies, that is, PEOPLE). She says she feels that does not bode especially well for a second date, as she really IS looking for, if not 'The', at least 'A', One.
In my longer than 3 minute shower today, (Baby, it's cold outside -) I realized the Ragtags blog actually does have Readers. Readers who are not particularly Writers (that is, not really Commentators, that is, Commentators, but not really in a Public Forum Commentators). What led me to this conclusion? Because my email is more than frequently overflowing with private comments about some little blogaliscious something, but when I look at that cute little blog comment section itself, ooh, the mailbox is too often sooo empty, and not because it's a US Postal Holiday. That's okay (because I know I'm actually not but even if I was just talking to myself) at least I'm usually laughing at what I say. Now That's Entertainment.
Monday, November 12, 2007
a World Premiere, a Sunday brunch, a secret sin on which to munch
I had the nicest note from Jeanne Minnix about my blogged mention of Across The Universe; she said she hadn't heard of it, but after reading the blog note, she saw it with friends and they all really had a fab time, so, yay!
Saturday September, Dante, Sebastian, Colin and I went into downtown Denver to meet Corina.
She and Brent have been members of the Denver Film Society for the last few years and get in to see any premieres that come to town. Plus the Film Festival etc. It's cool, and such a plus of big city life. Every time we go down to Denver, we daydream a little about living there, not here, for that reason and others. True, it's no Chicago . . . still . . .
So Saturday we attended a Denver (Red Carpet) World Premiere of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, a lovely way to spend the afternoon. The movie was shown in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, where a fabulous Chihuly chandelier graces the lobby - a sculpted 500-pound glass flower whose folding petals dance above the waiting audience. There are three balconies and an elegantly appointed bar with very handsome bartenders. The movie itself was quite fun and colorful, and who doesn't love toys - there WERE a few moments when the only dry eyes were those of the kids under the age of 8! My one small caveat - I would have written the very final scene somewhat differently.
Sunday morning Monica and I went over to Lisa's in Loveland for her birthday brunch. Her house is just simply so cool, so art-ful, so elegant, so SWELL, it's kinda hard not to let the green meanies take control; not that she shouldn't have it so, but that mine can't be equally! Alas! At least I get the pleasure of seeing it on occasion. The food was delicious and her friends delightful.
Sunday night, Colin and I went to Ed and Niamh's, our next-doors, to watch the last 3 episodes in the fourth and final season of my secret vice, The OC. I can't help myself, I found it oh so entertaining; yes, I loved it! Who wouldn't love a show where the new kid in town is welcomed with a punch in the face and the stellar line, "Welcome to The OC, bitch."? (Chris Carmack as Luke Ward said it.) The first two seasons had a good formula for almost every episode, a fight, and a party. Even the episodes which lacked those key elements in the third and fourth season drew me in, as any soap opera worth its suds should, by the power of narrative and never ever taking itself TOO seriously. OC, I will miss you.
What else did I do this weekend? Well, I read three books which Dante has been totally into for the past week or two - he has to read at least half an hour every day for school, but often reads much more. In between X-box, homework, his "Academy", student council, Math Olympiad, etc. These books may be written for 4th and 5th graders, but I tell you they are COMPELLING! Gregor the Overlander, Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane and Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods are the 3 books I finished. As soon as he finishes the 4th, Dante has promised to lend it to me (luckily I read fast; he won't get an overdue fine on my account!).
Because I finally did take almost an entire weekend to just play (well, I DID change the sheets, but did NOT make a deposit at the bank - oh no!) I have to work extra hard this week to make it all good. Pack things to mail, work on journals, clean up, start holiday house party prep, etc. So with that, and these 2 self-portraits, I will sign off.
your ever faithful,
Friday, November 09, 2007
who just happens to live in Norway.
c'est moi, again
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Upstairs by a china lamp, in the garret
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
View from the garret
Monday, November 05, 2007
Vine and leaf are filigree
Sunday, November 04, 2007
- Excessive love or admiration of oneself.
- A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
- Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.
- The attribute of the human psyche charactized by admiration of oneself but within normal limits.
nar'cis·sist n., nar'cis·sis'tic adj., nar'cis·sis'ti·cal·ly adv.
The Shape of Things to Come
Remember that great song from the kinda creepy, kinda bad 1968 movie Wild in the Streets? Well, in just a few short weeks I hope everyone is going to be Wild in the Streets (in a good way) over the new issue of Pasticcio, the QUARTZ (you'll see!). I know I've been blogging about it for weeks, but it really is almost ready to roll. You can expect to see new work from such fabulously funky and prolific artists as Traci Bautista, Tiffini Elektra, Anahata Katkin and Misty Mawn but also a few we suspect you may not have seen before, like T. St. Esprit, Miko, and Holly Roberts. Above? That's the front cover. Below? Me, ala the jazz cutouts of Matisse, or maybe a paint by number set sans the usual suspects. . .
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Kicked off the island
Good thing I did not sign a contract! (promising to blog every day in November), even though I was going to give it my best shot, I already missed yesterday. After I got home from Caterina's Abondanza Show & Sale, and went to the market, and did the dishes, I sort of, well,
forgot; thought my obligations for the day were then negotiable. too bad, so sad, as my kids used to say. Good thing I have that nice big BWO logo, courtesy of my friend TEX standing sentry at the top of my sidebar.
Here's another one of my cellphone photos, it's me shadow, but you probably guessed that. Shadows pics are cool, they can make you like like an Amazon woman, a Girl Gulliver in a Lilliputian Land.
So, hooray, it's Saturday! I will be working all day on Pasticcio 2, then tonight at the Creative Underground for the 2008 calendar release party. I'm curious what are you all up to out there in your own garrets, or off to the fleas, or? Maybe that could be a question we ask for the next Quartz, Angela - "Imagine your PERFECT Saturday"?
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I wonder, wonder, wonder,
wonder who, who wrote the Book of Love.
Well, yes, I do wonder that, but I also wonder if there is something inherently melancholic in the psyche of blog readers/writers. I mean, I know I am cynical about far too many things - and you can call me crazy, call me crazy if ya like - but there seem to be a preponderance of blogs out there filled with the most, fraught with the most, frenetic with the most mournful and sad takes on everything from the lives of the writers to, um well, let's just say mostly the lives of the writers. Considering everything which has occurred with the dawn of the 21st century, is that really what people want to read the first thing every morning and the last thing at night? Apparently for huge numbers of over-the-shoulder, peep-through-the- windows- --- and face it, that's exactly what we do when we read our daily blogs --- readers, the answer is an overwhelming yes. Why? I don't know. It's enough to make one doubt the impetus to carry on, in forthright Pollyanna fashion. Yet, dear readers, while on a rare occasion you may find even your faithful observer and recorder, me, on a brief meander into the maudlin, or sincerely FREAKIN' (generally that's thanks to my darling children and their own dc, oh and occasionally, a missing black cat by the name of Janie Marie Appleseed) when you visit my blog, you will probably find it more often totally lacking that certain something, that je ne sais quois, that flair for the wandering in the fields of the sorrowful ennui and introspection of a true artistic temperament, with little to no raising my internet hand to forehead as I swoon on about my days.
For those of you who do stop by now and then to see what's goin' on here in the Design & Ragtags Studio Garret, my feelings would best be expressed, ala Molly Shannon (aka Mary Katherine Gallagher), in this song, as sung by the Iowa townsfolk in the Music Man, a 1962, made for the theater movie, starring Shirley Jones, as Marian the Librarian. Here, you must imagine me as I am, standing here by the window through which I watch the world outside my head, singing: "But what the heck you're welcome, glad to have you with us, even though we may not ever mention it again."
To prove to you that I am not a total curmudgeon,
let me say so long for now with this rather nice altered image -
the original, a photograph I took outside of
the University of New Mexico Theater Department in 1972.
Let's call it 'I Wonder' or maybe, 'I Nap'.
Missive From the Garret #2
Aside from Pasticcio 2, the Holiday Ish, and a new project (shhh) and the boys, and mi familia, and all the old undone, you may find yourself wondering "Geezie, Laweezie! Is she ever gonna just make anything new?"
SEE THIS MOVIE!
Colin thought it was as fun as I did. If they had been selling the DVD with the popcorn, I would have bought a copy for everyone I know:
My phone photo of a fence (see Pasticcio 2, The Holiday Issue, due out in December, for an interesting albeit brief examination of that phrase - "phone photo of a fence) on a street corner in Albuquerque less than two short months ago (yes, it's true, inspired by the movie still shown above - that's Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood all Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - I played with a filter or two):
Angela's and my class at Zinnia in September. Isn't it the swellest little art shop? Don't you wish it was in your neighborhood? Don't you just love Tamara and her shop peeps, both boys and girls? I know I do: