inside the tentacle-made studios (Shawano edition)

So, I recently cleaned and reorganized my studio, and I thought that y’all might like to see one of the places that I work in.

This is my little work area with my glass for monoprinting and my giant cutting matte for paper and fabric and some of my inspiration–thingies.  Y’all can also see piercing cradle for bookmaking, an as-yet incomplete plushie piece, and some of my books.

There’s a lot of books.

And the best lamp ever.

To the left of my work area is my spinning wheel Vincent and my weird little cart with all of its little drawers.

Behind Vincent, you can just see my pastel box peaking through.

By-the-by, the table I use for my work area was my great-grandma’s.  My dad has told me stories about being small and hiding underneath it at his grandma’s house.

A close-up of the shelving unit to the left of my work area.

A close-up of (some of) my books.  Did I mention that there are a lot more?

My pretty, pretty lamp–and my Dress of Storage.

My sewing area-cum-staging area for my easel, which is to the right (no image for some reason).  I just found this old-school desk at Goodwill for $2.  I kid you not:  $2.

*inserts Better Off Dead “I want my $2!” reference*

Also, a couple of my fungoid owlets.

My (craptastic) dress-form and my freshly painted photowall…plus some stuff that needs to be redistributed around Hemlock House and the studio.  This is all to the right of the sewing area.

My nascent metal-working area.  I’m still working on getting it all set up.  It’s too the right of the sewing area.

The shelves where all my fiber stuff hangs out.  This is too the left of the sewing area.

The white bag has kozo in it waiting to be boiled and used.  Oh!  And check out my pretty cricket loom! <–I’m still working on the weaving-thing.

More books.  More fiber.  Toolboxes (bookmaking and regular toolbox).  Gesso and adhesives.  Rolls of paper and per-streatched canvases.  All to the left of Vincent and my main work area.

The big red-brown thing is my flammables cabinet.

In the distance, you can see the garage door of the studio ’cause my studio is a garage.  But!  It has a drain in the floor.

This visual jumble is my not-organized section–really, it’s more organized than it looks; it’s just that the water-heater and the furnace are right there.

The butcher’s block is actually my paper-making surface with my book/paper-press  sitting on top; it also has all of my paper-making stuff and fiber dyes hiding inside of it.  Hidden behind it is my double dry-sink, which is currently filled with alpaca and wool that needs to be processed.  You can also see my woefully inadequate sink and my studio spotlights.

A random piece based on 28 Weeks Later that has lived in several of my studios.

A piece that I’ve been working on:  zombie!Santa (in-progress).  Good for decoration from Samhain until Yule.

So, yeah, that’s pretty much  my crazy studio–except for the ginormous fabric bin, the Supply Room, and the as-yet not-working lathe.



*is all painted blue*

*or not*


Remember how I was All Hail the Zombie Apocalypse the last time I posted (eons ago)?  It never got any better, any less zombie-apocalypse-y.  I ended up resigning due to a variety of reasons, the less of which was the accumulation of not-rightness that was building up.

Hence, the freedom-blue-paint-or-n0t thing.

My body’s still rejecting the resignation. *frustrated*

But!  That means that I won’t be nearly as distracted or nutty and can start bringing y’all my twisted (and oddly academic) perspective on art, the world, the art world, and living in Wisconsin.

And, speaking of Wisconsin with all of various tribes and reservations, I ran across Sew:  The Art of Creative Sewing with Mixed-Media at Book World and ended up buying it due to this cover:

Danielle Daniel is a First Nation’s descendant.  These pieces are part of her genealogical story.  They’re beautiful and nuanced, and honestly, I kinda adore them.  Yet, when I first saw the cover, I wasn’t certain because I wasn’t certain if she was culturally appropriating an inappropriate image or if she were doing what she was doing (I hadn’t looked at the article yet).

But, yeah, the worry of cultural appropriation is well and truly seeded within me.

What do y’all think about Danielle Daniel’s pieces?  What do you think about cultural appropriation?  Is there a way to respectfully appropriated and denigrate or destroy the culture that is being appropriated?

Yep, I come back, and I come back with hard questions.  Why can’t I just squee over the conceptual-pretty?


“Behold! For I am really not kidding!” <-Yes, I know I used it yesterday…

But, I think that it bears repeating, especially since I just finished The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore. Evidently, someone somewhere is making a The Stupidest Angel movie. For realz. o.O


I kinda want to know what crack he’s on, because it’s obviously the really good Metals Crack*, but I kinda want my own stash.


*spiiiiiiiiiiiiiiins and tra lala las*


So, I am feeling better–or, at least, I’m not going to die and have made it out of Hemlock House for my date with the Illustrious Miss Sara–and, therefore, I am owing y’all a post (or seven). <–Okay, this was like 8 hours ago.  WordPress was being stupid, and I lost my post.  Twice.




Sorry, I have much anger today.




Okay, it may not be much of a post since, between SOPA/PIPA last week and feeling like I was going to die this week, there hasn’t be a whole lotta thinking going on in my little squid head.


There was some thinking that Umberto Eco has some pretentious paranoia going on and an ugly, deep-seeded love/hate/lust thing going on with the Templars and all the numerous other secret societies that are scarpering about the planet. <–I just finished reading Foucault’s Pendulum too.




Nota Bene: The focus of my studies in Classics were Religion (specifically Mystery Religions), Mythology, and Art and my Senior Thesis in History was on Early Modern Mysticism, so I actually am really interested in these sorts of phenomenon. I also really like certain aspects of the book like Belbo’s fictionalized historicism of Kelley and the pages and pages and pages of really interesting history. There were just other parts that made me go “Really?” like the 3-4 chapters of false ending.


Can we say The Return of the King here?


Yes, I really do read multiple books at once; it’s easier when one has the attention span of a gnat.




So, before I got completely side-tracked by Eco and Moore, I was going to say that I have loads of nifty pictures by way of a pseudo-blog post today.


‘Cause, even ill, I’m completely bee-like.


But just a few. *feels stingy today*


full tunnel book


A tunnel book sample that I made to go with the physical advertising of my bookmaking class at the ARTgarage. I’m rather fond of it, although the picture kinda sucks. <–My photo area is still down due to a massive reorganization after ‘Lain moved out.


I also made a folded structure book sample to display. This is a picture of it in process; it’s done and on display, but I haven’t taken a picture of it yet.


sculpture book


I’ve been making some Kindle covers. This is mine and The Husband’s respectively.


question bird


hello owl


The handmade insult series is also continuing apace.


stupid head


Did I mention that I’ve also learned to perform basic knitting? <–No picture, just a random question.


And check out the amazing old china I found at Goodwill.




It wasn’t a complete set, but it had the tiniest tea cups and a large-ish bowl and a plate. I <3 it like y’all wouldn’t believe.


Classes at the ARTgarage:



  • Saturday, January 14th: basic beading structures & open studio
  • Saturday, January 21st: fiber incorporation & open studio
  • Saturday, January 28th: pendant structures & open studio
  • Saturday, February 4th: wire work & open studio


When: Saturdays, January 14th-February 4th, 10 am-12 pm

Where: the ARTgarage

Cost: $25 includes use of tools and basic materials (sign-up for 3 classes and take the 4th free!)



  • Saturday, January 14th: Instabooks
  • Saturday, January 21st: Concertina books
  • Saturday, January 28th: Pamphlets
  • Saturday,February 4th: Japanese Stab Binding
  • Saturday, February 11th: Codex books
  • Saturday, February 18th: Tunnel books
  • Saturday, February 25th: Flag books
  • Saturday, March 3rd: Carousel books
  • Saturday, March 10th: Folded structures
  • Saturday, March 17th: Altered books


When: Saturdays, January 14th-March 17th, 1-3 pm

Where: the ARTgarage

Cost: $60 for first session, $40 for each following session


  • Saturday, February 11th: History, equipment, initial pulls
  • Saturday, February 18th: Cotton pull
  • Saturday, February 25th: Abaca/flax pull
  • Saturday, March 3rd: Kozo, dyeing, and forming
  • Saturday, March 10th: Inclusion papers
  • Saturday, March 17th: Pulp-painting and collage pages


When: Saturdays, February 11th-March 17th, 9-12 am

Where: the ARTgarage

Cost: $150 for all six classes


Mixed Media:


Possible projects include 10-layer drawings, altered books, and assemblage and techniques such as photo-transfer.

  • Saturday, March 24th
  • Saturday, March 31st
  • Saturday, April 7th
  • Saturday, April 14th
  • Saturday, April 21st
  • Saturday, April 28th


When: Saturdays, March 24th-April 28th, 10-12 am

Where: the ARTgarage

Cost: $150 for all six classes




Possible projects include mini-installation, guerrilla fiber, fiber art, assemblage, wearable art, and/or environmental art.

  • Saturday, March 24th
  • Saturday, March 31st
  • Saturday, April 7th
  • Saturday, April 14th
  • Saturday, April 21st
  • Saturday, April 28th


When: Saturdays, March 24th-April 28th, 1-3 pm

Where: the ARTgarage

Cost: $150 for all six classes


*”Metals Crack” was a joke when I was an undergraduate.  I took several Metals classes, and there were some people in them that should just not have been allowed near fire.  We kept telling them that Metals Crack was the really good crack that caused you to grow an extra eye in the top of your head.  Scarily, a few of them seemed to believe us.  *le SIGH*



studio update

I’ve been being kinda cagey about what’s been going on in the studio, and I haven’t meant to be.  Just too much crazy lately to be chatty. <–Okay, I’ve been chatty, but it’s also been coming out as chatty spaz.


And, more often than not, half in squid.



Yeah, I have my own language.


So, studio.  I recently took a class with the amazing Ahliah Zia Shashonah, and between her and Miss ‘Lain, my sewing machine phobia is well on it’s way to abatement.  \o/  Do y’all know how long it takes to hand-sew my unnamed friends?  This is going to be so, so, so helpful.


…okay, the scrump are still going to have to be hand-sewn because that’s part of their concept/process, but everything else is going to be sewn with the sewing machine!  *bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha*



For mine is an evil laugh.





I’ve also been learning to spin my own yarn.


roving=my new crack


Well, roving and Tazo Passion tea (hibiscus/blood orange tea).  *whistles*


So, because my friend Hel is awesome-upon-awesome and made me drop spindle, gave me roving, taught me to spin, and generally makes certain I get to the Shawano Weavers’ Guild meeting (’cause I still don’t know the area very well yet), she gets an unnamed friends plushie.  The first machine sewn one, in fact–unnamed friends:  fungoid owlet.


unnamed friends:  fungoid owlet


Additionally, an admirer of my work asked me why I just don’t sign my pieces with a tree since most people call me ‘Trie.  I, after some thinking about, really like the idea.  Plus, my last name?  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to fraking long for a play.  <–a little paraphrase Love’s Labors Lost for y’all. *is a recovering Shakespeare-dork*




…it even sorta looks like my initials.


I also sold a couple of piece on Saturday.  Nothing big and expensive, but enough to pay my studio rent at the ARTgarage with enough left over for a cuppa chai or Passion tea.


That reminds me.  My art and I are going to be at IQ’s Fall Art Reception on October 8th from 3-8 pm.  Heather Peterman invited me to participate, and I can’t tell Heather no; she’s too awesome.


So come, drink, and buy art!


Here’s my Calendar of Up Coming Appearances and Teaching (I need to figure out how to insert a permanent Google calendar into the blog, I think):


Story Beads:  Beading to Heal–September 30th    $30.00

The ARTgarage has a class cooperative with St. Vinny’s, and this class is being offered through that program.  This class is also totally based upon one that I took with Lisa Kay a couple of years ago.  She’s totally as awesome as you’d think she’d be winning a Fulbright.  Share the love!


“Visualizing Your Hopes and Dreams”:  An Art Night for Freedom House–October 3rd, 6-8 pm

It’s basically an art class being taught for the families that Freedom House helps out.


IQ’s Fall Art Reception–October 8th

3-8 pm at IQ’s Bar 2105 University Ave., Green Bay


4th Quarter Artists Opening Reception AND the first Artists’ Demo-ing Night (hip name yet to be chosen)–October 13th

5-8 pm at the ARTgarage.  The Artists’ Demo-ing Night is something new that we’re trying, so if you’re an artist in the Green Bay area, come to Demo Night!  We all aren’t ARTgarage artists either, and we’re willing to share our windfall awesomeness!


Japanese Stab Binding:  Books to Heal–October 14th    $30.00

Also, a St. Vinny’s class.


Artist Books:  A Bookmaking Workshop–November 11th-12th    $150.00

Bookmaking techniques and artist books! \o/


Artists’ Demo-ing Night–November 17th

Same sitch (yes, I did use “sitch”) as the other one.


Artist Dolls–November 18th-19th    $150.00

Really, this is ‘Lain’s gig; I’m just co-teaching.


Black Friday Mixed Media for Kids Class–November 25th

Co-taught with the fabulous Miss Carrie.  Bring your kids to be babysat to learn about and make mixed media art while you get some peace and quiet some Yule/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Saturnalia/insert-your-holy-day-here shopping done.


Artists’ Demo-ing Night (I really hope we come up with a better title soon.)–Decemeber 15th, 5-8 pm

This Demo Night happens during the ARTgarage’s annual Holiday Sale/Show, so it’s a double header.


Miss ‘Lain is also teaching a couple of other classes that I’m kinda helping out with (Mostly so that I can take the class without paying for it!  Don’t tell!).


Circuit Bending 101–October 28th    $60.00


Puppetry–December 2nd and 9th    $150


So, I think that y’all are caught up…oh, wait.  There’s some more.


The last bits and bobs that haven’t been said in the update:

  • I have a ton of new unnamed friends that y’all can see on my Flickr.
  • I haven’t heard anything from my interview yet, so we’re all just going to have to hold our collective britches and wait.
  • I haven’t taken new pictures of the studio yet because it’s still a wreck, just a more organized wreck.
  • The preliminary returns are back on the Marathon for Literature, and it looks like the ARTgarage made over $2000 dollars for the ARTgarage and over $1000 for Literacy Green Bay. \o/


Okay, now I think that’s everything.  It’s been busy, yeah?



This is the piece that never ends. It goes on and on, my friend.

Okay, I’m still buried (no pun intended) in my sculpting. The unnamed friend that I’m building for the Art Garage competition has eaten around 14 lbs. of poly-fill, and I’m not done sewing him all together yet.  *laments and tears my hair*


Toss into the mix that I’m still building the other sculpture (tree stump-ish creature), and my hands really, really hurt.


One day, I will  have a sewing machine that doesn’t hate me so that I can do some of my sewing on it.  <–Okay, that really wouldn’t work with the way my critters are built, but I can dream, can’t I?


So, I promised some out loud thinking about ecology and world building as it relates to my conceptual process.


Be prepared.  It isn’t fully developed yet.  Mostly because it was a typical-for-me shower revelation.  <–My best ideas either come out of taking a shower or insomnia.  When I can get them to work together?  Pure magic.


I’ve always know that I was building creatures and habitats that exist in the same sort of world, but I’ve started to suss out where they exactly fit into that world building.


The taxonomy series really come out as the insectoid creatures of the world–which makes sense since, in my head, taxonomic structures are connected to insect collections.


I had one when I was a kid.  In a cigar box.  Grasshoppers were the hardest to catch.


The chimera series are almost like the old gods of the world.  Giant, eyeless, removed from the rest of the inhabitants of the the world, and totally without compassion for the other creatures that live there–which probably explains why a lot of the references in this series are dependent upon popular culture, fairy tales, and archetypes.


The scrump series would be the algae of the world.  Especially, since the amorphous ubiquity of the scrump comes from the mass in Tenchi Muyo, although the name and grotesque nature of the scrump comes from Lilo and Stitch.


The habitat series are the places that some of these creatures live (mostly the taxonomy insects).


It’s not eloquent or complete, but it was nice to have some of this world building situated more firmly in my head.


And, now, I must be away to sew more on the Sculpture That Will Not End.