Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Dressember starts tomorrow! Participants aim to only wear dresses for the whole of December. I think dresses are so easy to wear and look so finished, but for some reason I feel like they're special and for ordinary days I should just pull on a skirt and a top. Some people are modifying the challenge and simply wearing skirts and dresses and forgoing pants, but that wouldn't be Dressember for me. (Today I counted that I have 39 skirts and only 5 pairs of pants.) My modification is that I set a goal to wear 13 of my 15 dresses during december. (One is exempt for being too small with complicated construction, and one is exempt for being made by my Nana from silk she bought in hawaii on her honeymoon fifty years ago. I know she gave it to me so I would wear it, but I am saving it. It would be great for graduation as long as June isn't hot, because I really don't want to sweat on it.)

So here are the thirteen dresses. I pinned them up because I have a harry potter closet and they were all either stuffed in with my pants or rolled up in a shoe hanger.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Growing Up

I remember when I was little seeing my parents scramble to conceal the messy details of our lives before any of my grandparents came for a visit. Dishes washed, plastic placemats replaced with cloth ones, laundry put away, candles out. It sounds simple but they would worry for days and days about getting everything in order. I remember thinking that I couldn't imagine having my parents so removed from my daily life that cleaning before a weekend twice a year would change their whole perception of my lifestyle. I especially couldn't believe that my mom could stand to be away from her sisters, since they seemed to have so much fun together at thanksgiving. I spent every afternoon with Nick and woke up every day in my parents' house and couldn't really consider how that could change.

And now it has. I invite them down to Santa Cruz just about every time I see them, and they don't come. I called my mom to talk the other day and she didn't call me back. I know I'm going to Thanksgiving with friends of the family but I don't know what my parents are doing because they didn't rsvp on facebook. I think one or both of them might come down to my school's open studios in December, but usually they say I did not give them enough notice. My mom mails me things sometimes, and she always asks for my address. And yeah, it changes a lot, but I tell her each time I move.

I still tell them my good news and my bad news, but they don't know all my news. Like, I bought gym pants last night. And there was a hailstorm and I saw lightning. And ants got in my room. And I have a new favorite kind of salad. And my house mate crashed her car and now I'm scared to drive in the rain.

This is a picture of Nicholas growing up and me grown up. And I guess that was predictable, but I didn't predict it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

rainy day exploration

I went for a rainy day walk today, and because I was wearing rain boots I ventured down into a little runoff stream that I pass by every time I walk to the beach. I discovered that the tunnel that the runoff goes through never turns into a pipe, as I had thought, but is large enough for me to pass through very comfortably. There are two grates above the tunnel that rained on me, and there was a phenomenal amount of wind in the tunnel which was very exciting. The tunnel is perhaps 3 or 3 1/2 feet high, with a trough in the middle and shallower sides.
This is the inland side:
This is the ocean side:
This tunnel was a bit easier than climbing down a lot of rocks while wearing flip flops, which is what I usually do at that beach. But I can definitely only do this when it's raining, because the water isn't stagnant and the rocks on the beach side are washed clean instead of slippery and sandy, and I am wearing rain boots rather than flip flops. I like that. The tunnel is 'activated' by rain.

UCSC pride

I want something with my school mascot and colors, something mass produced rather than handmade. And I do not ever pay retail price for clothing because it is really expensive. But I realized that I need to buy the something with my school mascot and colors while I'm an undergrad. If I don't, in five or twenty years when I come across it I won't have a lot of memories of wearing it to class and on the bus and to go to the library at 10pm during finals. So I went to the bookstore and tried on the ones that I liked.

This last one was my favorite, and it costs 25 dollars, so I didn't buy it. I don't really buy t shirts but when I do they generally cost well under two dollars. But I really want it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

beeswax sculpture

I told my metal sculpture professor that I wanted to try encaustic* and she set me up with a crockpot of beeswax.

The series I am making is a reimagined naturalist's study. It will have kind of a dark ages aesthetic with selected 18th, 19th, and 20th c content. I thought I could put this bird in like a cage shaped like the SF conservatory of flowers.

*This term I am that kid, the one who demands absurd accommodations before I'll consider producing anything. As in, my final project for metal sculpture is going to be largely wax, paper, and carved fruit. This would be totally fine with everyone if it had a metal armature, but metal is just kind of an accent on this stuff.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mail Art

I am not that good at working on long term projects. I think a few weeks of thinking and planning, one session of inspired work followed by a session of polishing and then documenting and reflection is perfect.

So this mail art project that I've been working on for a few months is a challenge for me. I hadn't done any in two weeks so over an episode of Eureka I painted 7 with no forethought beyond getting out my watercolors and a jar of water.

Predictably, 5 of the seven didn't really turn out. Here are the two I am happy with:

the end.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Grass Mane has sprouted!

My grass mane finally sprouted, almost immediately after it started getting rained on instead of misted with a spray bottle. Steel and soaked sawdust are heavy:

which is why there's no picture of me wearing it. (that's our combined weight) There's no way I can lift it over my head carefully enough to put it on.

Edit: I just realized I was lifting it one handed since I had my camera in my other hand. So actually I probably can put it on by myself, I just can't take a picture of the process.

Create! Start now! Create unceasingly! Forever! Do it now! Keep at it! The things are so good! Now more! Now do an exercise that acts as a sketch for an assignment! Then something new with the same materials! Then the assignment! Now more! Do all the things! No one else can! Do all the things! Do them now! Now more! The things are getting sloppy! Do things with more margin of error! Now do more! If you go to bed you'll never find out what these things will be! Tomorrow's things are not these things! You're not tired! Art sustains you!

thanks, brain.

Today while I was sewing a miniature yeti I let myself think about how good I would be at making things if I tried harder.

I don't know how to try harder.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Art Murmur

A little more than half of my art and art history professors at UCSC live in San Francisco and the rest live in Oakland. One of the Oakland ones organized a field trip for us next Monday to go to Urban Ore (which is a lot of reclaimed stuff like sinks and doors and luggage and electronics) and a metal yard and a salvage yard. I can't go because I have a midterm at that time. So I went to the other proposed field trip destination, Oakland Art Murmur. It is where 24 galleries around Oakland open from 6-9pm on the first Friday of the month. I ended up going alone so I didn't want to walk very far in the dark and stuck to the ones around 23rd street, and I saw a LOT of art in different styles. Sculpture, textiles, painting, repurposed toys... it was neat! The outdoor vendors had things like leather cuffs and pottery, but I felt shy to look closely at their art since I couldn't buy anything, and it was really dark because it is Winter so I couldn't see it from far away.

This is called The Great Wall of Oakland, and it is at Grand and Valley streets. I watched it for 10 minutes and it was interesting. It was a bit faded. I don't know if the projector was a bit too far away, or it wasn't quite dark enough out. I had never seen this before and it's neat! It was showing shorts by different artists instead of looping something, so I think I could have spent a significant amount of time watching it.

My skills are a little lopsided.

These are some pizza rolls with bats that I made for a Halloween party.

And this was my best attempt at cutting a triangle wedge out of a pizza. I was proud of my first slice, but the first slice made it impossible for the second to be a wedge.