Take two.

Before I get bogged into the crazy that my art practice has been for the last bit, I just wanted to mention to Green Bay area peoples that tomorrow night is Gallery Nite, so if y’all want to come and chat with me in person, meet the girls from Hello Purl or Zoe from Knits by Zoe, or really just see a whole bunch of art, y’all should come to Gallery Nite.

The four of us are going to be at the ARTgarage.

So, yeah, stuff and things.

Really, for those of you playing at home, I haven’t been getting much more done that spinning art-yarn and some writing.

Although, I did teach my first drop spindle class at the ARTgarage last week.  It went really well, like, really well.  The drop spindles I made worked just fine, and I had plenty of material for the students, which go squid!

top-whirl drop spindles, handmade by me


class kits, fiber provided by Interlacements

If anyone’s interested, I’m teaching another drop spindle class on the September 29th and another on November 13th.  Additionally, I’m teaching a 6-books-in-6-hours class on November 10th and 11th.

…really, I need to make more drop spindles. *sigh*  Sanding is so not my favorite thing.

So, ArtStreet was fun and I picked up some fiber to spin from Hello Purl and picked up some commission spinning, which was one of the strangest things I think I’ve ever done, but it’s spun, plied, and ready to be handed of to it’s owner at Gallery Nite.

Of course, I don’t think I took a picture of the art batt I got at ArtStreet before I spun it up.

Hello Purl art batt plied with lattice/stain glass commercial yarn stretched on a knitty-knotty.


Hello Purl art batt plied with fun commercial yarn still on the spindle.
Skeins of plied yarn all from Hello Purl art batts.

Do y’all sense a theme here?  I really do get everything from either Hello Purl or Interlacements.

Customer loyalty and all that.

The skein on the far right is from this art batt.

Hello Purl art batt, pre-spinning.

And, y’all get to see how just messy my office desk is all the time.  Although, now, it’s being protected by four of The Avengers in bobble-head form.

The commission spinning went well (because commission spinning is cool like bowties and fezs but not like stetsons).

commission spinning on spindle


commission spinning skeined and stacked

I also got this obnoxious thing spun.  Really, this stuff just sucked to spin.

domestic wool and teal angelina

I’m not going to subject y’all to the writing today, though y’all might like it.  I do have a bit of talent with words with all that education I have, but yeah, this is what I’ve been doing during my Funk to End All Funks.

I’m not sure it’s better, but I’m freaking out about so many other things that I’m getting art and writing stuff done in self-defense.

Because I freak out like no one y’all have ever met (maybe), and I have productive freak outs.

It’s like productive insomnia.  We should bottle it and sell it to all the people.

And, if y’all want to keep up on my writing and things a bit more real-time, try my Tumblr.  Yeah, it’s kinda fandom(s) heavy, but it’s kinda fun.  I’ve totally come out all of it with new things to read and listen too because fandom is huge and awesomely weird.




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.


There is sadness in my little squid heart.

So, I don’t know if y’all know this, but WordPress has an import tool that will import your posts from other blog places (i.e., I thought it’s be nice if my Tumblr-freewheeling-on-the-go blog would export over here.).  This is awesome, but it’s not a continuous importation; you keep having to go back in a do it.  Basically, it’s an import tool that’s only good if you’re unifying multiple blogs, which would be nice if that’s what I wanted to do, but THAT’S NOT WHAT I WANT TO DO!

I like having multiple blogs, that people can follow me in various places and enjoy the different aspects of the Life, Universe, and Everything of a squid, if they so chose.

…I end up following other people various places for that exact reason.



I’m done now, I swear.

So, I’ve been enjoying the “What others think I do/what I think I do” meme, and Hyperallergic had an interview with the artist that came up with the meme.  It’s really interesting.  But, what I really enjoyed was seeing the original meme.

Except for the “What I actually do” being me cleaning my studio for the third time in a week, yeah, this is my life. <–Okay, the submitting art to shows and exhibition ideas forms are part of it too, but I swear I clean more than everything; I swear I’m not a horrible neat-freak either!

So, I also spent a good chunk of the morning making gluten-free pumpkin muffins with homemade butter-cream frosting for the opening at the ARTgarage tomorrow night.

Here they are, in all of their mini-muffin goodness.

They’re not picture-perfect beautiful, but they are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay tastier than the previous batch I had made.  I ended up tweaking the recipe some to make it work better. *is amazed that it worked*

For those of you that don’t know, I have a gluten-intolerance that I’m still learning to negotiate, so gluten-free baking is kinda nutty for me—especially since I wasn’t much of a baker before.  *whistles*

If you haven’t noticed, I’m still ignoring the Bill Gallery video that I promised to rant about.  I’ve had one of those days where the universe keeps dropping things on my head and breaking my toys, so my temper is already more-than-a-bit frayed.  Another time.

Also, I burned the crap out of my hand when I was baking today. *injured tentacle of rage*


Sunday supplimental. Or, hi, y’all!

I was poking about my email and such today (I’ve been distracted this week with studio destruction, so I am behind.  I’m usually behind, though.) and noticed that there are several new subscribers.

Hi, new subscribers!  *WAVES manically*  Thanks for joining me and my spastic art-thinking!

In honor of y’all, I present “70 Million” by Hold Your Horses.

What could be better?  It’s essentially the second half of Art History in 3 minutes and 19 seconds.  See how many paintings that y’all recognize.

Watch it.  You’ll like it.  I promise.


random post of randomness

by Paul Barnes

It shouldn’t be random, but it is.

I’ve been tearing a part the studio (again) for the last couple of days due to the In-Laws:  Wisconsin Edition giving The Husband and me a table for the kitchen that is a much more reasonable size for our space; the previous kitchen table has moved into my studio.

Hence, the tearing a part of the studio. *shrugs*

…I do wonder how I get any art made, like, ever.

Speaking of art, I have a new artistic crush.  His name is Paul Barnes. <–That’s his work about…and below…

His website is under-construction, so here’s his page on Thumbtack Press.  I think I might have mentioned him before, but I now have a full-blown art-crush; it bears repeating, I think.

Aren’t his creatures sweet and wee?  They’re so creepily kawaii.  I want one (or seven) of his paintings.

I do have a birthday coming up, but really, art is an anytime-of-the-year type of offering. *whistles*

by Paul Barnes

*insert segue here*

I finished reading The Witches of Eastwick today, and all I can say is that I think that John Updike took Pat Robertson’s rant about

“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

a little too seriously.  Also?  It has every kind -ism in the history of the universe in it.  The narration is all wackadoodled and sloppy.  The research is lousy and seems to only have come from the caricaturization of Medieval/Early Modern in craptastic novelizations.  And, quite possibly the most insulting thing, is that, after all the “I hate men”-ness that permeates the novel (even that is an overwrought caricature), all the women get married again.

It’s like the whole novel was some sort misogynistic, guilt-ridden male fantasy that had to end in marriage to make the characters, who were very much two dimensional characters who I didn’t really like and didn’t really care if horrible things happened to them, safe for work again.

Can’t have those wild, free-spirited, liberated women running around without the manacles of marriage to weigh them back down again. *EYE-ROLL HEARD AROUND THE WORLD*

Oh, and evidently, John Updike hates conceptual and postmodern art.



And, since I’m in a ranty mood, here’s an interesting, infuriating, naively unrealistic video.

Before I begin my deconstruction and general crankiness with this video, what do y’all think?  Is it just me that there are some major issues in here?

Y’all chat amongst yourselves, and I will post my rant about this video later this week (or next week’s blog at the latest).


art and art-lovers unite!

So, I have been thinking awhile about how artists need community because we have a tendency to be alienated and isolated in our studios (and that’s just soooooooooo Abstract Expressionist and we don’t have to worry about McCarthyism and HUAC locking us up because we’re degenerates and subversives) and that people who love the arts need to be part of that community–since who else are we creating for but those that love art and each other–and I was talking to Miss Carrie at the Art Garage about this very thought.


She suggested that I take a look at Artini–Arts Management with a Twist written by the incomparable Ellen Rosewall–who basically is on every board of ever arts-oriented thing in Green Bay–because she had recently been voicing a similar thought.


My response to her post was

It seems like getting people into situations that they are likely to even start speaking to each other would be the first step–like Gallery Night, but Gallery Night has the draw-back of happening so infrequently and being kinda art-touristy. I keep thinking about the writing group that I used to be a member of before I moved to the Green Bay-area; we would get together a couple of times a month and talk about writing, exchange stories, and support each other. It’s not precisely what you’re talking about here, but it seems like we need to get ourselves-as-artists out of this removed, individuated-to-the-point-of-isolation mindset so that we can connect with audiences and help them to become something more than audiences.

I don’t see why an “artists group” should be just artists. Why not have something like these groups where anyone who is interested in art could come to play?

And isn’t this true?  It’s hard for artists to meet other artists and for artists to meet people who are interested in art outside of a Gallery Night  or an art school sorta context, and when you’re terminally shy like me, it’s even harder to meet other artists or, when you meet them, to talk to them.  <–If y’all haven’t realized this, “socially awkward” is my middle name.


(Okay, so this is something that might totally exist already around the country where there are huge-upon-huge art scenes, but what about Green Bay?  Couldn’t Green Bay totally use one [or seven] of these?)


So, this brings up the age-old questions:  what can we-as-artists and art-lovers do?


We can form groups!  Get anyone and everyone we know that has an interest in art and tell them to invite their art-interested friends and meet and talk and drink and just totally BS about life, the universe, and everything.


If we all set up groups and met even just once a month, imagine the art communities that we could build!  It could be a place for artists and the art-interested to trade ideas, concepts, and methods as well as receive critique (which is another one of those things that artists miss when we’re all alone in our studios) and form potential art co-operatives and find other artists working in similar concepts and/or materials.


It could even be away to bridge that huge gap that exists between the older generation of artists and the younger generation, bring arts to schools via the community, and get people to realize that, hey, you’re never to old or young to start making art; that, like everything, art takes practice and determination and critical thinking and someone to bounce ideas off of occasionally.


And booze.  Don’t forget the booze.  <–Okay, art really doesn’t need alcohol involved, but for the adults, it takes some of the sting out of critique.


So, artists and art-lovers, for groups!  Even if it’s just to talk about artists that you like or exhibits that you’ve seen.


Hey, if writers and poets can do it–why can’t artists?

things and things and other things

So, I’ve been promising and promising to share my studio forms with y’all:  time-sheet, materials, and project (which is basically a combined time-sheet-materials form with a built in cost assessor and place for conceptual notes).  I had been putting it off because WordPress has created a way to share your Google Docs on your blog, and I, honestly, hadn’t gotten around to sussing out how it worked.


*is a bad and laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy squid*


But!  Now, I have done it!  You all can share my OCD tendencies that have extended into my studio!  *bwahahahahahahaha*


Really, only I could be this excited about record keeping stuff.



The time-sheet is really just a way of keeping track of the amount of time that I’m spending in the studio.  Nothing big, but when you kinda feel mooch-ish (like me), it’s nice to be able to quantify as well as qualify my time.



The materials sheet helps me to keep track of what materials are being used in the studio and how much they cost.  Really, I use the time-sheets and materials sheets just as much for miscellanious, non-specific activities in my studio–like the box I’m working on to put the masses of buttons I have so that I can sell them at the Art Garage or twin!Sarah’s graduation present.


Euclid’s First Solar System



The project sheets are really the best of both worlds with chocolate (Cadbury Dairy Milk, specifically) on top.  I can break down my time by project, break down materials by project, and keep notes, due dates, and prospective titles all in one place, making the entire pricing of art an easier (if just as frustrating) task.


I likes them a lot.


In other news, the end of the quarter is coming up at the Art Garage, which means that my wall space is going to be moving (closer to the front of the gallery!) and a new featured studio artist will go up.  This happens on Thursday, so if you were wanting to see my featured studio artist wall in person, make a trip to the Art Garage!



Okay, off to finish coffee, work on organizing studio stuff and the stuff for the Marathon for Literature (there’s a post coming up on this, especially since I’m in charge of Food Donations and Thank You letters), and framing.


So.  Much.  FRAMING! /o\



too much to ‘splain; let me sum up

*points*  An obligatory Princess Bride reference for y’all.


So, this last week has been crazily, fantastically busy; hence why I am currently at home typing this into the blog-o-sphere at my little shadow-darkened desk (have I mentioned that it’s raining like the world’s ending?  with lightening and thunder and dark, dark skies?  the cats are totally in hiding, and I’m worrying about the nascent garden).


The good thing about being at home?  Chai, no-shoes, and fuzzy kitties when they come out from beneath the furniture.


But, I digress (as I often do).  Last week.  Yeah.  Too much going on, particularly on Saturday.


There was working in my studio at the Art Garage.  There was Gallery Night replete with insta-book demos for one and all (which went over really, really well and was like magic for people that tried it).  And, Saturday–oh, Saturday!–there was the Shawano Farmers’ Market (we also had the Rhubarb Festival and the Jumpin’ June Jamboree and Car Show, but I didn’t get to those), Faerie Fest at Thistledown Greenhouse outside of Bonduel, and a fundraiser for the Art Garage at the Green Bay Barnes and Noble.


While I got a ton accomplished in my tAG studio, that really wasn’t the highlight of the week, so I’ll spare y’all pictures of the last-week’s progress until next week’s post.  The highlight wasn’t even Gallery Night–although it was awesome, there were tons of people, and people were really digging my work in addition to the demo and book forms I brought with me.  The highlight was Faerie Fest, all of the lovely faerie folk, and the lovely vendors (about half of which were part of Kara Counard‘s 101 Women Project that is on display at the Art Garage until the end of June).


Faerie Fest took place at the Thistledown Greenhouse (which is moving to California?!? *turbo-pouts*).  So, yeah, there’s totally a greenhouse there, but what really caught my attention was their beautiful old Victorian house (there are a lot of old Victorians up here for some reason).


It’s like the Wisconsin-version of the house from Practical Magic without the tower.


They also have a bunch of feathered friends patrolling the grounds.



There was also a peacock, but I didn’t manage to get a picture of him.


So, there were a bunch of different vendors, but I’m going to, as usual, tell you about my favorites–’cause I can!  bwahahahahaha


There was Aurora’s Apothecary, Herb Shop, and Apothecary Museum (go like it on Facebook!) run by the lovely Miss Melissa.  Her shop is located in Greenleaf (Morrison), WI.  She carries culinary herbs and other kitchen ephemera, teas, make-your-own potpourri, home and garden decor, plants and seeds for gardening, body and health products, and fairy and magical accoutrement as well as housing an apothecary museum and teaching classes.



This is Melissa and her lovely gentleman friend surrounded by her amazing products (I like that she reads as an urban faerie due to the raver-esque hairfalls, and he’s steampunk-ish; they’re so cute!).  In addition to Melissa and friend being beautifully costumed (unlike me in my Dr. Seuss shirt),  she totally has a gardening gift in addition to the herbalism knowledge; I could smell her catnip from 8 feet away.  Totally, amazingly potent.


I bought a bottle of her Relief for Sore Muscles and Joints (which, anyone who knows me in RL knows that I’m pretty much in constant pain, so this product is a potential life-saver).



It contains essential oils of wintergreen, blackpepper, rosemary, juniper, fir, ginger, lavender, nutmeg, cajeput, clove, eucalyptus, cinnamon, lemon, safflower, aloe, apricot, almond, jojoba, VE, evening primrose, rosehip, and neem. All suspended in an amazingly light massage oil base (I have yet to feel like a ancient Greek wrestler after any application).


Okay, honestly, I hate wintergreen with a passion.  I used to have this really good muscle/joint stuff that I could never use because the smell of wintergreen made me crazy, made my head hurt, and made me sick to my stomach.  Sooooooo not fun.  But Aurora’s Apothecary?  The wintergreen isn’t noticeable and nothing in here is making my allergies act up–which is a miracle on the order of loaves and fishes cause there’s at least three things in there with which I habitually have problems.  Nothing.  Nada.  \o/


Mostly, I’m smelling the primrose and the lavender, which I’m liking.  Your mileage may vary.


Okay, personal testimonial time.


It’s totally not a cure-all, but it is definitely helping me out.  Hot shower (okay, I par-boil myself), application of Relief, ‘jamies, and snuggly blankets.  I might not be right as rain (which, what is so right about rain anyway?), but the muscles feel a bit looser, I’m sleeping a bit better, and my mental-state is a bit less “suck the world into a hell dimension.”  <–I’m reading Buffy fic again.  Can you tell?


I think that’s the most I can ask of anything as far as pain-management goes, so yeah, make a sojourn to Aurora’s Apothecary (or any of the many events that she frequents like the Door County Renaissance Fantasy Faire or the Green Bay Farmers’ Market on Broadway).


Then, there was book bones (Etsy shop) whose motto is “new life for old books” and describes her work as



My handmade jewelry and accessories are all made using old books in some form or another. No worries, though, most of the books are library discards. This means they could no longer be used due to the condition of the pages or outdated content. It warms my heart to take an unwanted book and turn it in to something beautiful and fun. I hope you enjoy them!


And she is totally not kidding.  She makes handbags out of book covers and jewelry out of altered pages.  They’re very altered book mets haute couture all out of upcycled materials.  Who could ask for more?  This is the piece that I bought (re:  Husband bought) on Saturday.  I made a specific beaded chain for it so that it wasn’t just on the temporary black cord.  I think they go well together.



There was also Sage Hollow (Facebook page), which is located in Denmark, WI.  <–They have a blog over——->here!


Aren’t they lovely faeries?


I bought some tea for my Wisconsin-edition Mother-In-Law (again, Husband bought) and tried to not sniff their wears too pornographically.  I sense a road trip in my future very, very soon.


The last of the vendors that I want to talk about is Gracie Designs.



Kelley of Gracie Designs make beautifully cute, hip accessories (that I totally want a bunch of, but I, since I am totally kept at the moment, I didn’t have any money).  She has an Etsy and a Facebook, so buy and like as appropriate!


She also frequents the Farmers Market on Broadway, so y’all can see her and Aurora’s Apothecary at the Market 3-8 on Wednesdays through the summer!


In addition to all of the fantastic vendors, there were so many wonderfully dressed faeries that I took kinda sneaky-shots from a distance so that people couldn’t be recognized since I hadn’t asked first.



This was the Cernnunos/Green Man of the day.  I got a little obsessed with this one, but I think that had more to do with me creating my own version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in my head.



In my head, these two became Oberon and Titania, which on the Shakespearean stage were played by the same actors that played Theseus and Hippolyta so that they were shadow-selves of the King and Queen of Athens.  *is a total Shakespeare geek*



And, for me, this was Oberon speaking with Puck (aka Robin Goodfellow).


After all of the fun at the Faerie Fest, I went to a fundraiser at Barnes and Noble for the Art Garage, and I signed up for a reading-slot for their Marathon for Literacy in September (as did Husband–he’s going to read something by Lovecraft, and I’m going to read “The Thing in the Forest”  from The Little Black Book of Stories by A.S. Byatt).



Okay, so this has become the longest, most picture-heavy post in the history of the universe, and I’m going to go now.