Saturday, February 27, 2010

WIP - Beetle Paisley

This is a project I started a while ago that I set aside to do stitching and embroidery work. I'm kind of needing a break from stitching and am returning to my roots, making designs meant for wallpapers and fabrics. Currently I'm gearing up to play a lot with Turkey Red patterns popular in the 1890's.

Fueling the Fundraising Fire

Today I received my first 3Day donation from a total stranger (a friend of a friend who'd seen I was doing this walk via Facebook). I thanked her for deciding to support me out of everyone else and she shared her story:
Her mother had recently passed away due to cancer (breast and others). She herself has put together a cancer non-profit that holds a major fundraising/awareness event each year.
And I cried when I read her email. It wasn't a long email, it was simply and matter-a-factly stated, but I cried anyway. I couldn't help thinking of my own mother and my sisters.
So this has just fueled me further. Once I've raise my bare minimum of $2300, I'm going to up my goal to $3000. If I get there, my goal will just keep rising until my walk weekend in October. It's really all any of us can do, to feel a sense of control and contribution; to at least know we're doing something to create something positive out of negative things.

Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day for the Cure!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Broke through $100 yesterday!

Yesterday, I broke through the $100 mark with the fundraising for my 3Day walk! I'm very excited about this. Now, at $140, I'm hoping I'll reach $200+ in the next week. According to the 3Day fundraising handbook, stats show that walkers who raise $500 in the beginning of their campaign are much more likely to succeed in raising the full $2300 (or more!) for the walk. So far, the fundraising has been totally via Facebook and I'm hoping that of the 200+ friends I asked on there that each of them (or most of them) will donate even a bit, like $10-$20, because then I'd be SO CLOSE to my personal goal!

Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day for the Cure!

SPONSOR ME! I'm doing something BIG for this: walking SIXTY MILES! So, if you can't walk 60 miles, or don't want to, but care as I do about continued research about breast cancer, about finding better and better treatments for this disease, and about saving lives, then donate! Larger donations can be paid out over a 4-month payment plan. Anything is more than welcomed. Your donations make you heroes! Thank you!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

You Are My Avatar

Done stitching this a few days ago. I had started to fill in one of the people, but it looked stupid, so I cut that stitching out. I like the simple line of the silhouettes. Now to find a frame for it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

60 Miles to a Cure

Ok, so once upon a time I'd attempted to walk the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3Day. Unfortunately I had had a bike accident a couple months before the walk and hurt my knee (it still smarts a little to this day. siiiigh) and had been taken to the hospital to get fixed up (Ricardo, thank you forever for being a true friend always). Anyway, I ended up not walking.

This has always bummed me out. I love to walk. I love doing good. I love being socially conscious and responsible. I like doing things with a sense of purpose, a sense of a "greater good", and this 3day walk is a legacy. Plus, I hate cancer, all kinds, but particularly breast cancer. I'm afraid of breast cancer. I've had people around me affected greatly by it, by either having it themselves or loosing loved ones to it. However, I'm hopeful of the medical strides over the past decades that have worked to bring breast cancer research and treatments further than ever before. 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, which sounds terrible. But just a few years ago it used to be 1 in 7 women. I'm banking that in a few short years it'll be 1 in 9, 1 in 10 and so on until it's barely a whisper or maybe not even there at all. In the meantime, I can do my part, but that doesn't happen without a lot of help from others.

The walk is 60 miles long, 20 miles a day. I've never walked that far before, and I am pretty sure it's difficult. I've walked 18 miles in one day before, and can easily walk across town and back (about 10 miles) without difficulty. I'm pretty sure that 3 full days of constant walking is going to be a challenge, but I find the fundraising to be the bigger challenge. In order to qualify for the walk, I have to raise $2300 by game day, Oct. 15th-17th, 2010. So I need donations. I'm aiming to get my first donation this week, maybe even today. Starting, they say, is always the hardest part. This is true, I've found, for almost anything. But once something starts, it sort of carries itself along under it's own momentum. I'm hoping to get this giant ball rolling. If you donate, thank you so much! If you spread the word that I'm walking, thank you doubly so!

Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day for the Cure!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ocean of Inspiration

Music for some of these is a bit dubious (like from Titanic) but it's the visuals that really get me going.

Personal Hero: Patrick Blanc

I love Patrick Blanc. My heart beats a little faster when I look at the amazing living installations he's done up the sides of buildings and in other unlikely spaces. There's a sense of magic and adventure to what he's created, as well as a feeling of nature "reclaiming" space. Patrick Blanc himself is weird and wild, dyeing his hair green and wearing green, as if he too is trying to become a plant in his huge living murals. I think he's fearless and I admire this.
He's such an inspiration that Brendan and I have decided that should our next place have an appropriate space, we want to build our own vertical garden to enjoy year-round when our outside garden sleeps during the winter. We found a great blog by a guy in NYC who built a greenwall in his home with his wife. The whole blog has helpful information in it, answering questions, making material lists, etc. DIY GREENWALLS.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dear Spring

Dear Spring,
You can't get here fast enough. I'm sick of snow everywhere and short days. I miss my tulips and daffodils. (Picture below is from our 2009 garden).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Engagement Photo Session

One of the things that Brendan and I want to do is engagement photos. We plan on using these for our "save the dates" and such, and just for our own fun so that we have something to remember this particular and unique time in our lives. And in doing the research, there are some things we've definitely decided against:

1. balloons
2. being in a field or a tree
3. having photos that look like shots from a catalog
4. soft-focus light

Some things we want to focus on:

1. something creative with a sense of whimsy
2. comedy and humor (we like to think of ourselves as funny folks. Brendan in particular gets my sides splitting many times a day).
3. bright, cheery and colorful
4. handmade

All this thinking was spurred by a post on The Inspired Bride.
I think sitting down and deciding certain likes/dislikes was really helpful in our brainstorming session last night. And our idea evolved quickly to something we're both enthusiastic about. We'll be using my co-op gallery space to build a small set based off of a poem. And thankfully I have a hefty amount of large pieces of foamboard left over from previous projects that will finally get used!

Some clues:
1. proscenium arch
2. a boat
3. stars and a moon

Can't wait to get these done and share them!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Naming of Things

Yaaaargh...sometimes, I hate naming my artwork. Sometimes I'm lucky and a title pops into my brain while I'm making the piece or shortly after, but some pieces are just too....mysterious for me to title. Thing is, I think naming things "Untitled" is a total cop-out and I really try to avoid it as much as possible. I always appreciate when someone titles their work, even if I think the title is stupid or pretentious. I appreciate their effort. Times like this though, I wish I could title things like classical composers did like a personal favorite piece of music of mine "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor BWV 565, 2nd Movement, Orchestral Arrangement" (which I first saw when I was a little kid from Fantasia, shown below). Unfortunately from that title one has no idea what that would sound like or the feelings that it could possibly evoke.

Anyway, here's my latest unnamed piece, sans the full installation solution. But you get the idea:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

When life gives you snow, make a snow whale!

After all that snow finished falling, there wasn't much to do except play! (click on the photos to see them much bigger!)

So Sarah and I decided to build a snow whale in my backyard.

Here we are cutting the perimeter of the beast, and pressing in the sides to start shaping it.

The whale's face and it's tail.

It's taking shape! Looking like a whale!

All done. Sarah's fiance Brian came over to survey our work while Brendan snapped photos.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yet another snow day in Philly

Ahhh.....another snowed-in day in Philly. It's been snowing for many hours now, and is supposed to snow for a further several hours. Already schools and businesses are closed for tomorrow. It's a wintery, slushy mess out there, best enjoyed from cozy indoors or simply to play in for sledding and snowmen. Today my besties Christiana and Sarah came over for crafting, movies and making homemade pretzels. Mmmmm....!


Also we found a butterfly fluttering in my house. We put him on our rosemary bush that's currently residing in our in-house growing station. He's got a lil' heart on his wing!

WIP - You are my Avatar

Started this late last night. Can't wait to get it done. Perhaps for Valentine's Day?