Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Feel Free to Skip This Post

Because I'm about to post a bunch of pictures of my son. He is adorable and he has a new haircut. What more reason does a mama need?

 These are from when he first woke up from his nap.

Then I got him dressed to pick up Daddy from work. 

Wasn't that totally worth it!?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Outside Family

I know it is exam week. I know I have studying to do and projects that are still unfinished. But weekends are for being outside and planting things, not sitting inside making my head spin with deadlines.

It was overcast today and drizzly. Cool and green. We planted a tree and prepped for summer gardening. I can't wait for some cherry tomatoes.

(James was in some pictures too, but I have to get him to OK them before I post them. Just being polite and all. :) If you think Amby looks mad in these, you are right. We were unable to figure out exactly what he wanted, but his muddy mocassins bothered him a lot. Maybe that's all it was. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

End of Term

End of Term, always so far away, then upon us before we are ready. Except this time! I got ahead because I was expecting a final project on my most intense course. I got ahead in everything else. But, the teacher decided to go easy on us. We just have to finish up our previous project and call it a day. Or even a term.

So I have an exam in Public Speaking. It is a comprehensive exam on a textbook which I am proud to say I never read. Thank you very much. That will be Thursday. I expect to enjoy it.

I have a slideshow to put together for my print class showing all the stuff I've make this semester, showing that I learned a good variety of techniques and tried different styles, etc. I still need to photograph some of my work for that, but here is some that I can show you now.

This first piece is a linoleum cut print. It is based on a photograph I took of James not too long ago. It is about 9"x7" or something.

The next is more or less a doodle because I had little bits of lino and big bits of imagination. The studio was a mess.

 The sugar skull is a two color lino print. It is done on butcher paper.

This sugar skull is just the key plate from above. I hand colored it with watercolor crayons.

For this one, Lady MacBeth, I "rainbow rolled" two colors and attempted a chine coli. I still don't know what that means, but I'm pretty sure this is it. And I'm pretty sure it is awesome.

There were some other processes that we tried, but I can't show you examples until I get them photographed. Also, one is a familiar nude and I don't know you as well as that, so you won't be seeing that piece.

The last process we learned about was lithography. I quite liked it even though it was a beast to figure out. Hours and hours of trial and mostly error. It is a portrait of little James Ambrose:

I based it on a sketch I did of him while he and Bea were watching a movie recently:

So that is what I've been up to. One week form now, the semester will be over and I will have weeks of house cleaning, potty training, grocery shopping, laundry and all those other domestic things that I've let fall by the wayside.

(Also, parties, art exhibits, daytrips, rock shows, skinny dipping, banner dropping, puppet making, drinking, reading, gardening, painting, etc, etc.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wind Suit Fashion Shoot

See, I can't understand how anyone could look at this and not want a bowl cut. Right?

I was just hanging out, feeling kinda fabulous because the semester's almost over and I got all my homework done last Friday. And I had on this amazing windsuit (because why not) and figured the occasion begged to be documented.

I might sell it in my etsy shop or just wear it from now on. Haven't decided. It is Umbro afterall.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

That Awkward Moment

when you realize you are the only person not wearing all black from head to toe.

Good thing I'm an extrovert. (werkin it!)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Rinse and Repeat

///reposting after a year and a half because today I need a reminder///

I'm always a bit amazed when I go out with my kids at the looks I get from other adults. Looks that say, "Must suck to be her." I guess because having two little kids can be pretty intense and high volume and, I admit, at times hectic.

My kids are not the stand still and hold onto the buggy in silence while I shop kind. They sing and they dance and they point out every sparkly thing they see and Beatrice always asks me to look at this and that the whole time and she gets away every chance she gets!

But to me? This is not a problem. This is what I asked for. My children are not mistakes. It wasn't oops, I guess we're having a kid now. Nope, James and I planned it. We were trying- both timesWe wanted this. The messes, the noise, the poop, the cuddles, the sticky faces and hands, sometimes having to buy a snow globe because someone threw it out of the buggy when we were still in the store, the endless trips to Target for diapers and formula, tiny people between us in bed, baby clothes everywhere. All of it.

This is not the time in my life for leisurely shopping in the peace and quiet. This is a time for singing Waltzing Matilda on repeat and reading Dr Seuss. This is the time for crumbs in the backseat. For crayon marks on the walls.


So a lot of my friends are sharing this Dove ad. You know, the one with the forensics artist? He draws women how they see themselves and the whole thing is suppose to teach us that we are more beautiful than we think we are and boost our confidence and self-worth.

Does anyone else have a problem with this?

This whole campaign is perpetuating the lie that a woman's worth is in her appearance. Dove is saying that women must strive to be beautiful because it is through beauty that we attain strength and power. And when they celebrate "all women," they only show conventionally attractive, predominately pale, thin to moderately thin women in their ads. Thus perpetuating very narrow standards of beauty.

Another huge problem I have with Dove is their parent company Unilever which owns Axe. Don't get me started on the recent Axe Apollo commercials (women portrayed as overly sexualized, ultimately fickle damsels in distress). Dove and Axe are sibling companies, both with campaigns designed to appeal to opposite sexes, both sexist in their own ways.

Have you seen these commercials? What was your initial response?

Dove/Axe 1/Axe2

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I'm playing a show tomorrow night!

Or, at least I'm schedule to play a show. I have something like a flu, but for sure it can't be the flu, right? I'm achy and feverish with a sore throat.

But I'll probably feel better by tomorrow night and I don't want all this practicing to have been a waste. So there it is.

This is a poster that someone I don't know made for the show. I love it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Summer, Coming Soon

It's time to start planning for summer. It's this long stretch between semesters that just evaporates into thin air if I don't have a solid plan. Last summer, I worked on building up my fine art portfolio. I did lot's of art.

This summer, I'm getting a bunch of spray paint...

What are your summer plans?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ladies (part two)

This is a follow-up to yesterday's post. I got feedback here and on facebook that women are more often called "bitch" than "disrespectful."

Being talked down to and told you are disrespectful is different than blatantly being called a bitch. When someone stoops to name-calling and vulgarity, I automatically see their lack of control and it's not as likely to make me doubt myself. I see it as a reflection of their nature more than mine!

Being called disrespectful makes me question my place in the system. Whoa, was I disrespectful? Am I getting too big for my breeches? Was I inappropriate? I turn it over and over in my mind and try to see it from their side, see myself as wrong. But I know myself and my motivations. I value kindness. And although I joke all the time, I am very conscious of appropriate behavior. Gosh, am I polite!

Therefore, when a manager or teacher (etc) calls me (or implies that I've been) disrespectful, I can't help but see it as an appeal to the deeply-rooted idea in our society that some people are superior to others, due to sex, race, opportunity, privilege, etc.

But do the credentials of our elitist-run system relate to an inherent hierarchy that justly demands my respect or are we all equals here?

Is there ever an occasion in which I ought to suck up to a man or anyone else? No. Sucking up is disrespectful in my book. It is flattering someone's ego and I'm not into that. I believe that all God's children should be treated with respect and dignity, which I can show by meeting on a level.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Navy Blue Come Up with Doily Collar

The really terrible thing about Macklemore is how picked over the thriftstores are these days. It's always been a challenge to find "come ups" around here, as most of the donations seem to come from Bob Jones University's teachers' housewives. But now, it's real slim pickins.

I went to the next county to find this. I had to fight an old lady for it. Totally worth it. Yes.

I make a point of not buying new clothes for myself or my family. Our society consumes and wastes so very much. I think that if clothing manufacture came to a grinding halt, we'd still have enough clothes to spread around for decades.

The Market tells us we need the new, the latest, the trendingest looks. And we buy into it. We get clothes at the mall, at brand stores, paying enough to feed a family of four for a week to get a pair of jeans. But where do our clothes come from? Who weaves the fabric? How is it sourced? What about the packaging? What about the advertising? Is it ethical, is it honest? Are you wearing the fruit of sweatshop labor? Clothes lose their beauty when they are derived from hurt and injustice. (Gandhi's wife said something like that, but I can't remember or find the quote.)

Anyway, fashion is a hobby of mine. I like dressing up and having fun with clothes. It is a form of expression for a creative person. But it takes thought and consideration to do it right. I shop conservatively (sales! trades!) and do my best to shop ethically.

And I didn't really fight an old lady for this. We both admired it, but she finally confessed that she already has one like in burgundy, which is more becoming on her than navy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Do you remember being four?

I do. It's pretty vague, but I remember bits and pieces, like snapshots.

That's when we moved from the trailer onto the farm. That's when Hudson got born, bringing the total number of kids up to 4. I played with G. I. Joes and spent most of my time outside. Pretending was a big thing for us. I was afraid of cows, but overall the world was a good, safe place and things always turned out fine. I had a child's faith in God and my parents.

From my parents' accounts, I was excessively silly, optimistic, eager and empathetic, but I don't remember those things. However, those very words are the ones my closest friends and family use to describe me now!

My point is that when we are very small children, we are already ourselves. We gain a lot from life experience and education and all that good stuff. But our basic identity and personality are already there.

This is on my mind because on Friday, Bea will be four years old. I see a lot of interesting traits in my daughter. Beatrice is a wild thing in so many ways. She appreciates the value of good manners and does her best to behave, but is independent. Fiercely so.

She creates environments  It's something she's always done and she has particularly developed this skill since we've relaxed about room tidiness. She'll pull her mattress onto the floor and move the bed out from the wall and spread linens around and makes piles here and there so that her room is divided into various regions. It looks like a tornado swept through, but she likes that. She's into tornadoes. And volcanoes and earthquakes and tsunamis and hurricanes.

Another interesting thing about Beatrice is her loathing of clothing, lol. She prefers seamless garments. Like Gandhi. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I make her be modest if we go out, because I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea, but around the house, I let her go like this:

Beatrice is inventive, curious, stubborn and silly. That's how she is now, that's how she's been these four years. I expect that as an adult, those will still be some of her defining characteristics.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Feminist Art

I'm doing a three layer reduction print. It is apropos of nothing, for all you Dumas readers out there.

I just wanted to try reduction printing. That is all.

And I wanted to make something for Kerri Beth in case she needs art for her awesome 'zine, Lady Talk. Plus, we've been having great lady talks in printmaking class (which is mostly ladies) because I just watched Miss Representation and Beth already saw it and it is quite much fodder for conversation. That, my friends, is a sentence if I ever saw one.

And I'm thinking a lot of our lady issues. Reading this and that.

I'll show the print to you when it is done.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mermaid Avenue

Well, I broke down and got the whole darn complete sessions of Mermaid Avenue. The lyrics are all by Woody Guthrie, previously unrecorded. The music is written and performed by Billy Bragg and Wilco.  I love this stuff! There's some slow ballady songs, plenty of jiving rock and just enough twang to make this southern girl smile.

Woody Guthrie's lyrics are amazing. Words that paint this man so you feel like you know him. A few of the songs are just so tender you don't know what to do, but then he's bragging and causing a ruckus and womanizing. Then he sings about women being ahead of the men all along. Oh, and that love song to a flying saucer. What's that about? (Future Darger cover song is what!)

I know that on my blog when I'm obsessed with something it shows. Remember all those Dune posts? Well, here's a lyric for ya,

"I ain't the world's best writer 
or the world's best speller, 
But when I believe in something 
I'm the loudest yeller." 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Does This Come in English?

I want to make more clothes, but pattern making takes trial and error which takes time. So I was checking out some pretty awesome pattern books. Check this stuff out:

I love these really simple, layer-able looks with great details. And I love that these books have 16-30 patterns for so few dollars. But this girl doesn't know Japanese (which came as a great shock to a number of elitist patrons at my former job O.o )

So two options present themselves to me now: 1. Put off pattern making until Summer Break or 2. Work extra hard and spend less time on distracting social media rabbit holes to make time to sew.

Or I suppose a combination plate of less social media with a side of planning for Summer Break.

From any way I come at it, though, an eccentric wardrobe and myfutureself are inextricably connected and will one day meet.