Saturday, September 27, 2008

Austin Fashion Police

The other night at the (awesome) Mates of State show at Emo's, the girl who writes this Austin fashion/street style blog stopped us...she wanted to take pictures of my friend Sylvie looking so stylish. (Apparently I wasn't so stylish--in my zebra print top, seriously). That's cool. Sylvie is so fashionable!

Today we are headed to day number 2 of the Austin City Limits show...more on that later.

Create a great day!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Live Music Capital:

We are in Austin, and already are having a phenomenal time! Last night we started with a very happy hour at Spider House. If you make it there, please get the Grilled Cheese Especial (yummy cheese and veggies, with meatless crumbles tossed in). I heard the Frito Burrito was tasty too. Then we hit up Hole in the Wall for some live music and lots of dogs out roamin' the patio. Tonight we plan to check out Mates of State (free show!) at Emo's....more on that later.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Austinite for a Week:

We are going to Austin tomorrow to visit my darling friend, Sylvie and to go to ACL! (More to follow)...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Crayon Bowls...Something New from Something Old (Tutorial)

Wow! It's been a long couple-a weeks....Let me catch you up: My first assignment in my 3D Design class was to take one man-made object (in multiples) and create something brand new. We could not use anything other than the object (of our choice) and adhesive--which the teacher did not want to see. So, while people in my class picked water bottles, cups, and nails, (and did pretty cool things with them) I picked blue crayons.

Here is what I did:

First, I covered a small bowl with foil. This was going to me the mold. Then, I melted the crayons in a homemade double boiler, one pot to hold the crayons set inside a larger pot of (boiling) water. (By the way, this gets messy, so you might want to melt the crayon in a coffee can that you can just toss...I used a cute vintage pot I bought at a flea market in Germany, which was a poor choice--it's crayon free now, but that took awhile).

Once the crayons were melted (you'll need an old metal spoon to stir it), I poured the melted wax over the bowl form. I kept the bowl-mold on a plastic tray to catch the excess crayon wax so I could reuse it. Be careful here! The wax gets super hot (as it's a liquid!) and can burn!
I let this layer dry and cool and did it all over again. I kept going with this process until it was at a good thickness, then I released the crayon bowl by unwrapping the foil on the inside of the bowl (mold), sliding the original bowl out and peeling the foil off the inside of the new crayon bowl.

This bowl to the right is one of my first, practice bowls. I also used a hair dryer (because I didn't want to buy a heat gun) to smooth out some of the sides and to produce "drips."

The inside has some cool patterns from the foil, and I smoothed the outsides pretty well. This piece is actually symbolic to me on a few levels (but none that I need to get into here). I ended up making 3 bowls of different sizes, they all nest together rather nicely. Then, to keep the original idea of crayons in the piece, I carved some simple circles into 3 crayons and used them inside the bowls. Now, it's a cool little "work of art" that you can kind of play with--and even make art with!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fluid Spaces

I love the idea of a blog as a "fluid space" for ideas...Sometimes I feel like I blog more to keep a running list of things that are important to me so that I can remember them. My (secret?) plan is to have all the posts from this last year (the year I was 29) made into a book, just for me. (Using some website like blurb.com or something). It will be like a journal or scrapbook (not in the crazy-scrapbooking-lady way) of a year in my life. My friend Christine has taken a similar approach to her blog. She has basically made a high tech "painting journal" as a companion site to her art website, thefireflyjar.net.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Negatives--

Sorry for the delay, school is keeping me busy! This week in my photography class we developed a roll of film. We had to shoot a depth of field assignment last week, so this week I got to see the fruits of my labor. I was so nervous while pouring the chemicals and agitating my film...I was afraid I did something wrong and my film would be blank or something. But, it wasn't! Hooray! So, here are the very first negatives I ever developed and cut all by myself. Kinda cool. Well, the process, maybe not the pictures. (Scanning in the negatives does nothing for them, by the way. Proof sheet coming soon!)


(P.S. Because the meter wasn't working properly, I'm no longer using the awesome Nikon F2 camera I had, instead I'm using a Nikon FM2).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Homework Time...

No, I have not fallen into a Fall semester black hole...though it feels like it some days. Right now I am working on a 3D Design project involving melting crayons (more on that later), taking pictures with great and shallow depths of field for photography, and for Art History, I'm writing a paper comparing a work of art from the Ancient Near East period and one from the Egyptians. And, the paper and chart I had to do for my other class, well I finished that last week. Fun stuff, really.

My biggest concern right now is my 3D Design class. So, with that said, I will include some quotes and friendly reminders to myself from David Bayles and Ted Orland's book, Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking. My drawing teacher recommended this book to me last Spring and I have since devoured it (and should probably reread it):

"Art is like beginning a sentence before you know its ending. The risks are obvious: you may never get to the end of the sentence at all--of having gotten there, you may not have said anything. This is probably not a good idea in public speaking,
but it's an excellent idea in making art."

“To require perfection is to invite paralysis. The pattern is predictable:
as you see error in what you have done, you steer your work toward what you imagine you can do perfectly. You cling ever more tightly to what you already know you can do – away from risk and exploration, and possibly further from the work of your heart. You find reasons to procrastinate, since to
not work is to not make mistakes.”


“What you need to know about the next piece is contained in the last piece. The place to learn about your materials is in the last use of your materials.
The place to learn about your execution is in your execution.
Put simply, your work is your guide: a complete, comprehensive,
limitless reference book on your work.”


"Old work tells you what you were paying attention to then; new work comments on the old by pointing out what you were not previously paying attention to."

“Look at your work and it tells you how it is when you hold back or when you embrace. When you are lazy, your art is lazy; when you hold back, it holds back; when you hesitate, it stands there staring, hands in its pockets. But when you commit, it comes on like blazes.”

--David Bayles and Ted Orland
Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking



Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nice to Meet You:

Thirty Three things you didn't know about me:

1. I attended private schools (even preschool--but I don't think they had public pre-k's back then) my entire life until I went to college (at the University of Missouri).
2. I have more college school spirit now than I did when I actually went to MU.
3. Every light bulb in my house is a compact florescent bulb except for the lamp on my night stand--why? I don't know. I should change that.
4. I love fall mornings...when it's sunny, crisp, breezy, and the moon is still up in the blue morning sky. (But, I'm mostly a summer kinda gal).
5. I hate shoes. I mean, I love shoes...I have heaps, but I hate wearing them. I'd be barefoot all day all the time everywhere if I could.
6. I have a birth mark just below my elbow on the inside of my right arm. My mom swears it's "new," but I've had it for as long as I can remember.
7. My younger sister is an Engineer (not the train kind).
8. I don't pray, but do have a mantra (or 2) that I say everyday.
10. I love music festivals, especially if there is camping involved but am afraid they are getting too played out.
11. I listen to public radio.
12. I named one of my cats after a character in Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums.
13. My favorite number is 3. I tend to group things in 3's and sometimes "feel weird," if things won't work in multiples of 3's.
14. I drink at least 2 cups of green tea (with kombucha) every morning.
15. I have a "secret whistle" with my husband (and a few friends) that we use to find each other if we get separated in stores or bars or shows (we started doing this years ago when no one had cell phones).
16. I love bananas, but I can never eat them fast enough--they always get brown and smooshy on my counter--then I use them in smoothies.
17. I love yoga. I love the philosophy and spirituality more than the "fitness."
18. I don't follow directions...not when I cook, not when I sew. I do it all but sight, feel, and taste.
19. I read PostSecret every Sunday.
20. I love, love, love roadtrips...with a car full or people or by myself.
21. I had a party (one of many, really) that got out of hand, people (that I didn't know) where all over the front lawn and out of control. So, I pretended to be a neighbor and told people "I think the cops are coming, we should leave."
22. I would drive anywhere to see some of my favorite bands (or friends).
23. Speaking of: It's been far too long since I've gone "on tour," with a band I love. It's so much fun to drive all over the country following a band, especially when you know each show on tour is never the same. (Yeah, yeah, call me a hippie).
24. I used to be "against" wearing jeans. All through high school I rarely wore jeans (unless they were a pair of sweet vintage ones that had been my moms). It wasn't until half way through college that I was like, "wait, jeans are awesome!"
25. My favorite "adult beverage" is Gin and Tonic (with a twist) but I'll drink cheap beer with the best of 'em. I actually rarely have a G&T, I'm more of a beer gal.
26. I'm the only member of my extended family that doesn't wear glasses--and I attribute it to my extreme love of carrots as a child.
27. I love recycling, upcycling, and repurposing (whatever you wanna call it) I like making new things out of old things, especially using objects I already have.
28. I am aware of and grateful for how "lucky" I am. (I also believe that "we make our own luck," as they say).
29. My first grade teacher would always make the sign of the cross when she heard ambulance or fire engine sirens pass our school. She said it was because she was silently praying for the people in need. I never did it myself, but I always thought that was a nice gesture.
30. I am not the toughest person in the world, but I do like doing physically challenging things just to see what I am really capable of.
31. Somewhat (not?) surprisingly, around the house I am actually pretty handy and have a decent set of tools, know how, and common sense.
32. I usually buy new things with these thoughts running through my head: "How well will this travel?" "Would I wear this on an airplane or running through an airport?" "How will my life improve if I buy this? Will other people's lives improve? Where do I see this in 5 Generations?" or "Could I wear this on the beach in Costa Rica or backpacking through Asia?"
33. I want art to be accessible to anyone who wants or needs it.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday!


It was 3 years ago today that we opened PinkBird Creations very own website www.pinkbird.net! And, like some years when you're birthday falls in the middle of the week and you can't really celebrate until the weekend, well, this year, the party's on the weekend!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

How To: Fused Plastic Bag Tutorial

Ok, so one of my very first assignments for my 3D Design class is to create something (sculptural, and I'd prefer that it be functional) using only multiples of some man made object and an adhesive. I spent a nice chunk of my weekend testing out the ideas I had: knitting with cassette tape and plastic bags, melting down crayons, making vessels out of shredded bags, etc. I just can't decide what I want to do. I will let you know as soon as I know.

In that same vein, I thought I would share with you a fabulous (and old) tutorial from Etsy Labs on making fused plastic bags...you know you've seen them, and if you haven't already, why not make your own? (* bag in photo by Betz White)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Dear Everyone,

It's Labor Day, so I thought I would say thank you for all your hard work. Thank you for everything you do. And, thank you for supporting my work.