Sunday, February 27, 2011

Of Pig Washing

The week was spent finalizing a pamphlet I've been working on with all of my March class offerings, which I've been dropping of at some local businesses. The next class I'm prepping for specifically will be this Tuesday at Mississippi Treehouse... an art exploration class for toddlers! Horray for toddlers!

Every Tuesday morning the tods (and parents) and I will explore a new sensory theme. This Tuesday we'll be mixing "clean mud" giving some plastic farm animals a mud bath (in honor of the Tuesday holiday: National Pig Day, of course!) We can scrub them off with soapy sponges and go back and forth from mud to bath (and then perhaps a story time of the porcine persuasion when we're done?). Looks like it's going to be a full class, too! Check out the website for the rest of the March schedule.

[They are so ready to play in the mud]

Mississippi Treehouse may be a toy and clothing store, but with concrete floors and a play area it should be a good place for kids to get messy, too. What a brave owner it has ;) When the weather warms up our art experiences will head outside. So happy to have this new venue! I was a toddler teach for a couple of years before moving to Portland, so it will be great to make art and messes with this age group again.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thoughts Going out to NZ

It seems inappropriate to write about anything today but the earthquake in Christchurch.

Seeing as the New Zealand city made it relatively gracefully through a 7.1 earthquake in September, it was a shock to see the death and destruction caused yesterday by a 6.3 originating close to the surface in the same area, coupled with two aftershocks over 5.0. I spent four happy months in New Zealand some years ago as part of a study abroad experience, so it was particularly difficult to see places I had visited and historical buildings I stayed near in Christchurch (and the beautiful Banks Peninsula nearby) shaken to the ground.

[Christchurch Cathedral, nearly two centuries old. Source. Photo: David Wethey/AP/NZPA]

[Streets of Christchurch. Source. Photo: Carys Monteath]

I've been checking back frequently to Red Cross NZ to donate to relief funds, but they're so inundated with requests (to, I imagine, both give and receive aid) right now that the website isn't even responding. But I'll keep checking back.

Salvation Army is supposedly taking donations, though it's tough to navigate the website in a way to donate to a particular cause.

This has been a difficult hit for NZ's second largest city, which was already recovering from a tough 2010. I hope various donation venues (time, money, auctions) become clear soon so those outside of NZ who would like to help can do so.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

100 Posts, 4 Classes and Counting

My hundredth blog post!

Hard to believe when I started this blog everything was just beginning... my flickr account (and photographing my work for the first time), my etsy shop, my kids' bookmaking classes.

Now I'm gearing up to offer, for the first time, three bookmaking classes in a row at Green Bean Books tomorrow:

2:30 and 3:30 the kids and I will make Rainy Day Idea Card Games to bring home, I describe them in somewhat more detail here, with an image. Hopefully I can start getting pictures of kids' work to post after the classes!

4:45-5:45 the premiere "Pop-Ups for Grown-Ups" class! An hour of playing with paper and exploring pop-up techniques from the eyes of a five-year-old in order to better teach ourselves paper engineering and bring papercraft into our homes and schools.

For once, it'll be the kids who are jealous.

I am also happy to announce that Starting Tuesday, March 1st, I will be offering art experiences to TODDLERS (!!) at another great Portland shop, Mississippi Treehouse. Mix a shop selling kids' (gently used and new) clothing, toys, and gif with a clubhouse and indoor play area--and you have Mississippi Treehouse. From now on, between 10:30 and 11:15 a.m. on Tuesdays, it will also be a place for toddlers to explore, touch, squish, and get messy--in the comfort of some place NOT your own home :)

[logo © Mississippi Treehouse 2011]

Looking forward to them all! Thank you to everyone who has been supportive as I, literally, work to 'craft' my own career in 2011! (I'm pretty sure I'm channeling that phrase from OCAC, Penland, or some other craft school...)


Monday, February 14, 2011

Huzzah for Cooking Blogs!

Back in December I decided to get out of a cooking slump at home -- a string of uninspired months where I seemed to make the same dozen or so things every night.

Food bloggers to the rescue! I thought it was time to share some of my favorite food blogs to follow.

Lately I've been keeping up with local Portland blogs For the Love of Cooking and A Profound Hatred of Meat.

(There's something nice about following local blogs; it feels a little bit like buying local.)

For the Love of Cooking is an addiction! Blogger Pam often uses simple (in a good way) ingredients to post fun yet non-intimidating recipes. Often you'll find you do have all of the ingredients you need in your home, or you could easily come by them. If you're ever wondering what you'll do with those leftover potatoes or spices... just check the next day's blog; she'll likely have posted a great way to use leftovers, too. The pictures are beautiful and step-by-step. It's tempting to make what Pam makes every night (and sometimes, we do!) Plus one doesn't feel like one is ruining the recipe by switching up the ingredients a bit.

[above: our vegan take on For the Love of Cooking's taquito recipe, here using refried beans instead of meat]

A Profound Hatred of Meat has some in-depth vegetarian--practically all vegan--recipes. They're involved and varied; meat-eaters wouldn't even notice they're vegan. A mix of vege/vegan recipes are always a welcome find!

[above: a baked potato like you've never had before from A Profound Hatred of Meat The curry/cayenne pepper/ginger sauce was awesomely spicy]

You may have heard of this next blog over on TypePad: The Bitten Word

I only found it recently, and it's based on magazine and other published recipes with tweaks. Some of the recipes are a little bit more in-depth or use more expensive ingredients than we're used to (they like their shallots, lemon zest, spices you probably have to go out and buy, and expensive cheeses) but I did one that it sounded like I couldn't pass up: Spring Shells and Cheese.

I used 2% milk instead of whole and halved it, but I tried to follow the recipe... it was wonderful!

[The fancy baked shells and cheese! yay!]

This Valentine's Day, I love YOU, food blogs!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Hot off the Press!

Check out the show cards my friend Amy of art i made and I just finished printing for a group show we're both going to be in on March 4th!

Letterpress printed on a vandercook, of course, with two runs--one a wire collagraph and one handset lead type.

We felt that a craft show deserved show cards hand printed the old fashioned way!

It's a first Friday show at the ART DEPARTMENT gallery on SE 9th and Main, for all of you Portlanders out there! Snacks and Full Sail will be plentiful, so drop on by!

We printed a limited edition (around 300) physical show cards, so be on the look out at your favorite coffee shops, cafes, and other haunts around the city... you might be lucky enough to snag one ;)


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pop-Ups for Grown-Ups and other page turning classes

Some great news about my bookmaking classes at Green Bean Books today!

Grown Ups: No longer do you need to don pigtails and pretend to be seven years old, or sneak a peek over your children's shoulders to learn how to make pop-up books! Next Thursday is the premiere of "Pop-Ups for Grown-Ups: A Paper Power Hour" at Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta.

For one hour we will explore pop-up structures (some covered in the kids' classes, some not). Preschool teachers, educators, parents, and scrap bookers will go home with tips, tricks, models and handouts on how to make movable book structures (with an emphasis on how to make them with kids, as well).

Different structures will be covered on February 17th, March 3rd, and March 17th, all Thursdays, all at 4:45. We'll see if this time works for everyone!

Click on the flyer below (and click again to enlarge it) for full details.

Speaking of pop-ups, last week's kids classes at Green Bean made Lift-the-Flap books. By the end of the class we had made castles, forests, backyards, treehouses, and cars with lots of surprises beneath windows we could open and close. I read a lift-the-flap board book favorite (Dear Zoo) to the classes and we discovered the library copy I had was missing a flap that had been torn off.

It was a good conversation starter about how fragile pop-ups (and similar books) can be, and how we need to be gentle with them. One of the students even decided to play book restorer and make a new flap to repair the torn page! Way to go!

Next week, at our regular children's times (2:30 and 3:30) we'll be making an awesome book structure: Rainy Day Idea Cards (with a raindrop pouch). We'll be using some new materials like felt, mat board, and rubber stamps. I'm looking forward to it! Call Green Bean to reserve a spot ahead of time, as always :)


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The little rubber snake really freaked me out.

I got a package in the mail yesterday (always fun) from my mom. In it was a dress and nice shirt I had left at her house in Connecticut, a package of coffee (Dunkin' Donuts Hazelnut, not available in Oregon), some Valentine's Day inspired socks, and a bag filled with the items below:

[Exhibit A]

[Exhibit B]

Curiouser and curiouser.

We'll see how they will be put to use.

On another note, tonight I start a part time gig as the monitor for the studio school at OCAC's printshop and bindery. Night letterpress students have open work time Tuesday nights and I'll be there to tidy up and help with projects as necessary. The awesome part: instead of getting paid, the school is letting me trade the hours I monitor for hours using the bindery and printshop (which normally I would have to pay for now that I've "graduated" [diploma to come in May]). More projects to come!

The rest of the week is shaping up to be busy, too, with meetings and interviews... lots of prospects on the horizon for the spring!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

I'll need a Spunky Monkey fix at 2:30 every day for a while.

[Where I spent my weekend... in my little booth at the I Heart Art craft sale.]

I didn't realize until today, when uploading this image, that I don't understand the last line of the sign. "50% coffee-artists"? Now, there was coffee at an espresso bar in the building, but I wouldn't say it was 50% of the event. Nor was anything, as far as I know, 50% off. The closest I can figure is that it portended the end of the fair: With free local coffee for all the participating artisans (from Spunky Money Roasters), by the end of two days I suppose we were 50% coffee/artists.

[Above: Petite Cabbage Press booth set up during the fair]

I met some wonderful people at the fair, both visitors and fellow vendors. Thank you to everyone who stopped by for a chat; you made the somewhat drizzly weekend all the brighter!

I wouldn't say it was a busy event, but it was good to have the experience and stay on top of the science of packaging up my products, tetris-ing them into the car, and setting up my table. It also made me create double time during the past week, finishing up lots of in-progress projects and launching some new ones.

In the images above, you may see the outcome of one such new project... giclee fine art prints of my paintings! I'm been toying with giclees for months now, finding the right printer, getting high definition images of my work, and having archival prints made on canvas-like watercolor paper in the six color printing process that is giclee. During the coming weeks, my prints will be making thier way both into my etsy shop and, hopefully, into retail locations around town.

Stay tuned!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Take Me to The Fair


Being self employed... it is a busy thing.

Off to letterpress print the first run of some show cards for an exhibit I'm in come March, and then it's time to pack up my booth and head out to the First Friday Valentine's Craft Fair at the Watershed Building!

It also runs all day Saturday!

We'll see how it goes!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Goodbye, handwritten labels.

Today I used the Avery label template to make business stickers from the removable labels I got over the weekend. I'm having a good time putting them on the back of all my packaged cards and prints!

Maybe the next run needs a little image... like a really tiny cabbage in the circle.

It can all be done online--there are templates for all of their different label sizes on Avery's website, and you can write in your own text and add images. Try it out sometime!