Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

from kim Originally uploaded by dressform.

today ended up as one of those days.... you know the kind... one crappy bit of news after the other.... dare i even type them to make them real? 1. got a bill for my recent medical adventure. gulp. if you didn't already think health care was screwed up here in the good ole USA let me show you what it's going to cost me for a CT scan... AFTER insurance.... 2... show in Japan is on hold... funding problems with the museum [insert deflating balloon noise here] 3... my studio building is up for sale 3a... my rent is going up by 25%. i don't really want to complain about this as we do really have decent rent [even with the increase] but i hate the idea of my studio space in limbo. too many possible scenarios... [the thought of moving or trying to find another space just kills me] crap! 4.... my darling garbo is not feeling well. i'm hoping hoping it's not too serious.... hubby thinks it's her neck. she's not putting weight on one of her shoulders/legs properly. she is so stoic [never peeps] and he got her to yelp as he moved her neck around. crack goes my heart.... off she goes with him to work tomorrow...

but.... i don't want to only highlight the bad. i just can't... and so thankfully i have the bonanza box from kim to show you. i have to say a little bit about kim first, though. honest to god she was the first blog i ever read. [and now she's going to contribute to the mega blog whipup ]. somehow or other i was searching along for something art related and i stumbled up the excitement machine . i was hooked with the first irreverent line... from there off i went to dioramarama... and on to a whole host of blogs i now know and love that she linked too.... and then i did something i didn't think i'd ever do... i contacted her. there was just something that i thought i could relate to... our fabric loves were the same, so were our art loves, our button loves... and lo and behold she RESPONDED! and even linked to my work!! that's when i started to believe in the power of the blog.... seriously. she was that first connection! when she recently suggested trade could i say no? and now i OWE her... sorry kim! top of the list for the weekend!

as if the silver bird magnets, buttons, etc. weren't's the rest of what was in my super box:
from kim 2from kim 3

that fashion design sketchbook is to die for... you can see the cover and a few inside pages here

and one more shot of goodness before i go....

i was lucky enough to score a pass to the preview of the white elephant sale . if you live in the area - it's really worth a trip out to oak-town. for the luggage alone.... giant warehouse... cool stuff... the birdies and mini jello tins above are just the tip of the iceberg of what i came home with....

i'm hoping to re-formulate the talent thought later this week.... promise! and it seems like the comment response thing is working?? at least for me... i hope for you too!!

katherine spence Originally uploaded by dressform.

the above is by katherine spence [fellow mills grad!]. i LOVE her work.... you can see more at the stephen wirtz gallery . the thing to know is that this is MINI! only 6 1/4 inches tall by 4" wide and 4" deep.... gotta LOVE that....

i pick this image b/c i think if i were only 5" tall i have about double this amount of laundry to do. it's shameful. my hamper is not only overflowing it is monopolizing practically an entire corner of my room... sigh.... and it leads a trail to.... the stack of grading and dare i say it... the "T" word [shhhh taxes]....

if only i were a jeanie, or i could wiggle my nose and have everything in order and all ready to go....

i'm actually really excited to get back to the drawings this week. i'm sad not to have any to post for in my monday routine.... i'm on a super super super dark gray. really close to black. here we go!

i also cleaned the studio on friday [despite of the list of other things to attend to]. that was so exciting i can't even tell you. even though i was exhausted afterward i actually had more energy than i had for weeks. something about new possibilities maybe??

the crit yesterday was really sweet. 1st year undergrads.... so cute... wide-eyed... we also had to jury work into a big show and when we'd tell them we picked a piece of theirs they'd grin from ear to ear and their eyes would sparkle. that is a GREAT feeling!

i want to post about my latest bonanza box, but it is SO dark and rainey today that the photos look like crap... so hopfeully tomorrow... and.....hope everyone is ready for the upcoming "work week!"

photobooth friday Originally uploaded by dressform.

ok andrea my one and only photobooth photo....

this brings back such funny memories.... we were all in grad school. such pressure... and decided to have a girls day out. i'm not exactly sure how we all fit into the booth.... i think i was crouching on the little stool in there.... and i'm also not sure why i only have one of the images.... but this definitely reminds me of the value of being silly!!

i wish there was a photo booth around. it's such an intriguing format. which of course mac has now incorporated into their new machines.... [it's not the same, but it's still a pretty funny idea]

tomorrow i am participating in an all day [9-5] undergrad review at cca . i wonder if i'll be able to even talk after that. i better brush up on my adjectives.... tragic, moving, mundane, sublime, engaging, pedestrian, formally intriguing, conceptually lacking....

i answered comments! :) hope this new system works out.... and i'm thinking about the whole book club idea.... and when we should start the book. a few of you have requested cards??? hmmmm... maybe march 15 to give people a bit of time to get it???

i leave you with more humourous photos from minimiam [via boing boing ]. a japanese woman and french man duo....

mini peeps 1

anke, this one is particularly for you!
mini peeps 2

rosemary topiary Originally uploaded by dressform.

hello all.... so i am feeling much better - i can not thank you enough for all the warmth and well wishes and concern... i wish i could thank you individually - which brings me to my new way to handle comments.... b/c i think the etiquette there is so strange. i don't answer them individually [consistently] even though i want to and that seems ridiculously unfair.... so from now on at the end of the day after a post [or day after depending on timing] i will comment back - if you care what my response might be or had a question i'll answer there... good?? i hope so!

but i digressed [what else is new]. i am feeling better, but i still deal with some odd bit of weirdness in my head, my ears, my neck or something every day. it's not disabilitating but it's something slightly different. last night i had the rushing of the sea in my ears for 20 minutes - like i was holding shells to them - has anyone else had that?? so i take things as they come and will see what forms next... i'm just a bit more energetic everyday and thus assume i'm getting better!

this entirely ungraceful and almost uninspired little spell has made me realize a few things.... i took last week off from drawing and decided this week too - of course just when wendy pointed out how diligent i had been. ha ha. but i realized this is OK. a break is part of the deal and i'll go back hopefully next week as long as i can sit up [that was a problem last week]

i also have been noticing what small things i am entirely grateful for. like being able to go to lunch with a friend and talk and share and treat her! for little rosemary topiaries that i can put in my kitchen... for being able to tell my students i'm sorry but i'm going to be a bit slower on grading at the moment and that is just how it is... for being introduced to ginger bread pancakes with blueberries and poached pears by another friend [her treat!]... for the warmth and comfort of our new mattress.... for falling asleep holding my hubby's hand...

and the universe has done it's best to really balance out my illness!

lovelies from mav
first came my cards from mav came.....

from AnnieBee
then this envelope from annie bee who takes AMAZING poloroids and also who sent me this incredible article about the backside of the unicorn tapestries in the cloisters . [ok - the article was really about their restoration and how some lovely computer nerds got involved]. she also has a super charming blog . anyway - the ephemera is all this stuff that she posted on flickr and which i had responded to.... along with more film to encourage me... WOW! i was so touched!

and wait there's more [like a ginzu knife ad!]:
EOTS | yarn and felt

this is a smidgen of what came from lisa / eye on the sparrow . her box was just packed - at every turn i was unwrapping tissue and finding another treasure... you can see the whole deal here . yeah - i was doing the happy dance [it was limited to my fingers and the rest was imagined IN my head, but....]

wow, huh? and would you believe i came home to another box?? and and and a few more things [this is what happens when you can think again].... i want to open up the talent thing again... there were great thoughts on that.... FINALLY [i swear!] a couple people had said they might want to read the devil in the white city together? should we pick a start date? informally chat about it??

restpite Originally uploaded by dressform.

hello everyone... sorry for my absence.... i think my body has been telling me to STOP! and since i didn't listen it decided to give me a sinus infection like no other! it's like having a migrane for days. all i can say is thank god for narcotics or i wouldn't have slept.

i need a few more days to catch up and get back into the swing of things, but i think i'm finally on the mend... hopefully i will slowly catch up w/ all of you as well - i certainly owe some of you some emails and thank yous... on the way - promise!

in the meantime here's some lovely things
portobello wallpaper

anke told me about the wallpaper which is to DIE for. you can find it here

and then for some vintage inspired goodness:
cool vintage glasses
and luck loo loo adorable accessories using vintage piece - they look better in person than they do on the site... i have a pair of hair clips!

see you soon....

wall work Originally uploaded by dressform.

i finally posted wall works photos! here's the flickr set to see more if you are curious! and... the show is up through august! how great is that... if anyone want to see the show let me know and i'll go with you [and oh how i wish you all so far away were closer!!]

i love the responses to the idea of talent... i want to sit and think before i write more on it... but shari has some great thoughts on her blog.... and green girl started a thread on process.... ooohhh another great thing to ponder.... loving this....

re :: middlesex... i was so happy to hear that others said it was a slow read for them.... i LOVED the charcter names [calliope, lefty...]... i also liked the idea of telling a personal history combining both the past and present. also loved the idea that in a sense we are all on some kind of fence - that we can make changes - deal with painful aspects of change... the style of writing is also really engaging - on the poetic side, but not at all overly emotional or too flowy... the only thing i wanted was a bit more what else happens to cal??

my dad bought me this book and it will be my next read.... anyone want to join me??

we had amazing skies today here.... blue blue blue... crisp crisp crisp with fluffy pillow soft clouds.... ahhh

there are a few more really lovely why we blogs - check em out!

drawing a day ~ week 25 Originally uploaded by dressform.

ah.... gray.... such a minimal and monochromatic palette.... it seems like the lines are 20 million times more important....

it feels very good to have the whole wall works thing behind me... i can't thank you all enough for your wonderfuly support comments and well-wishes.... i wish you could have all come! it would have made it so much fun for me!! i have such a hard time at openings. they are loud, and you talk so much and just feel akward as you watch people looking at your work.... but it seemed like my work was well received which is a relief! i will post more picks of the installation here and on flickr, but for now i'll just show you the outfit:

i also kind of always feel a big ?now what? after a show... i know retarded, but true.... what comes next? some rest, but in the studio?? what??? can i catch up on everything that got left behind???

so.... onto the idea of talent.... i had been thinking about it for a spell... then mav started posting about art [read all 3 parts if you haven't already] and then regina's latest post on whip-up included some thoughts on talent . her thoughts were that sometimes those who feel like they have no artistic or creative ability often make the most interesting and meaningful things. i wholeheartedly agree.... in my teaching experience there is often a freshness - as if the lack of exposure to the big wide artworld actually makes the work more personal. this is not always the case, and i do think that if you want to really be a "professional" artist [live, breathe, think art, show your work...] then you need to expose yourself to the larger dialogue - to the theory - to the concepts that other artists in the world are attacking.... to multiple points of view and styles of making

but it all got me to thinking. what IS talent? is it something that can be learned? do you need talent in order to participate in something seriously? can you be truly multi-talented or is it better if you focus [on music, on art, on computers, on math....]? can someone bestow talent? can you see the talent in yourself? if the "right" person points out talent are others more likely to agree? are there degrees of talent [american idol singing talent vs. billie holiday talent]? do you feel special when you spot talent?

then i was reading middlesex [oh yes - it has been the slowest it's ever taken me to read something - but i actually got thru it bit by bit... it's a very engaging read... should we discuss??] and fell in love with this one passage where jeffrey eugenides is describing the main characters response to the girl that he/she has a crush on. the girl [referred to only as the Obscure Object - perfect i think!] is about to go on stage for a play and he/she says this:

I peeked out from the curtains and saw the Object waiting to go on. I had never seen her so serious before, so concentrated. Talent is a kind of intelligence. As she waited to go on, the Obscure Object was coming into hers.

i love the idea of talent being a type of intelligence and that you can perceive it.... that you can come into your own.... yes i know i asked lots of questions [with out answers... are you sensing a theme to the way my mind works?] - what do YOU think? i'd love to know!

happy valentines day tomorrow for those of you who like to celebrate it!!

and oh! nikkishell interviewed me for whipup if you are curious... i was quite honored to be asked.... there will soon be a few more why we blogs as well... next time i post i'll add them!

marshmallow gal Originally uploaded by tannie annie.

tania totally humored me and drew a marshmallow girl for me.... this is how my brain feels today.... i am mushy.... lack of sleep.....

tomorrow is the big debut of the wall works show! eek! thank goodness my grandma helped me get some new fancy clothes to wear.... it's so hard... you want to look nice, but not overdressed.... is there a magic formula for this?

if you are in my neighborhood and want to go to the opening... email or comment and i'll let you know where and when!

from alison
this lovely stitched goodness arrived from alison a flickr pal.... i LOVE that my crochet needles now have a good home [instead of the stupid packaging they came in...]

when brain is not so mushy... i promise more philosophical content :) but for now.... check out the why we blog link of the left there! more participants!

sweetness boo Originally uploaded by dressform.

a long but very hope-filled day!

this is my boo... it's so hard to leave her every morning.... she's very upset w/ the hours that i've been keeping of late. i'm sorry my sweet... soon we will have our days in the studio together again! i promise!

the day started out with me working on the wall piece. i went to stare at it after class yesterday.... it was like i had to attack.... so now there are 2 more clusters... it jumps from it's main wall to two others.... i painted in 2 more red doilies and mapped out another 3.... and pinned up some more too! wow. i'm feeling better though. i'm feeling like it might work. gosh i hope tomorrow goes well!!

after class i dashed to the city.... to meet another blogger... lisa ... YES! bird in the hand lisa! who draws and makes such lovely things [such a long list to covet: pillows, mod birds, mixed media collages....] we had burgers [it's funny how you never know who is a vegetarian... ] in the mission.... it was lovely! she is so engaging, smart, honest, and funny. she had laringitis and yet it seemed like we could have talked forever.... i can't wait for her show!! i can't wait to see more of her and her work!

i can't quite believe that i met 3 blog friends this week. i could really get used this....

and finally.....
living room :: westwall

amanda talked about "accidental" corners... which is such a great idea... but i took this photo earlier today and am stickin' to it.... even though it's not a corner... and there's nothing accidental about it.... if you want more info see it on flickr

oh! i wanted to thank maitreya of craftlog - one of the first blogs i fell in love with btw.... she mentioned the why we blog idea on the mega blog whip up the other day.... i want to extend an invitation to anyone who happens to stop by and would like to be added to the list. email me and let me know about a new post or an old post that is relevant! the more the merrier! lisasolomondotcom AT gmail dot com

i still want to talk about "talent"... but it will have to wait for another post.... i have ammo!

anthropologie = dreamy Originally uploaded by dressform.

i just love the spring anthropologie catalogue cover. it just hit me in that way that certain things do. i almost made an audible cry of "oh" as i rifled through the junk mail to get to it....

today i was lucky enough to meet two ladies who in some ways i already "knew"... amanda [french toast amanda!] and mati rose , who is a pirate... well she at least says her name with a real A [which i love...] not only did i get to dine with them but i got to run thru the H&M store with them too! [yes i scored some yellow sunglasses and hair accessories]. they are both as charming as their blogs in person.... the internet.... now i want to meet all the rest of you! so far all my real life blog encounters have been amazing.... and i may even have another one this week!

i have really been thinking about mav's thoughts on art all day.... and i have been thinking about "talent" too.... but i will post more about this hopefully tomorrow... i also go to "check up" on my wall work tomorrow and see what else i may have instore for myself.... i'm dying to know what it will look like w/ fresh eyes....

i leave you with the incredibly sweet gift mati brought for me!
from mati
did she know i loved elephants? and that pink leaf in the upper left?? ahhhh

drawing a day ~ week24 Originally uploaded by dressform.

it's still monday on the west coast!

this week - other than the color tree.... [visit the flickr set for inspiration] is really quiet.... and i decided to try something new w/ the doily. it's actually a doily bedspread. i like the weirdness of a floating bedspread... the hint of what it is... the mystery of it.... i might try this again. we shall see....

i have been loving all the "four" responses out and about. it's such a funny little peek into someone's quirks, and likes.... i've been charmed.

tonight was a crit for my drawing class. a few were missing - this always irritates me... missing a crit is like the worst thing ever. unless you are deathly ill - show up - even if your work isn't finished. arrrrggggg! but more importantly.....

i had them do one drawing completely from memory and one of the same place/object/people from a photo or from something tangible. just to see how your mind operates.... one woman's drawing from memory was really spectacular. she has a facility that practically anyone would envy - her line quality is impeccable and it comes with such ease. she HATED her memory drawing b/c she felt it was wrong. that it wasn't composed perfectly, that the scale was off, that it had all these mistake marks... the rest of the class and i spent the next 10 minutes trying to tell her that the drawing had passion, emotion, that extra bit of something.... it had a horse and i swear there is NO WAY i could draw a horse like that from memory... the musculature... the intensity.... she had grown up riding horses [in tokyo!] and you could tell she knew a horse backwards and forwards!!!

how do you help to alter someone's state of self awareness enough so that they can see things in a new light? so that they can get past the rules that they have applied to themselves? tricky tricky tricky... there is no magic pill.... she was overwhelmed.... i hope she is bolstered... excited.... that's when good things really start to happen.... sigh.....

speaking of inspiring.... abby has written why she blogs.... link to the list on the left there...

sketch - install shot Originally uploaded by dressform.

so.... sketch show was fun.... esp. since quite a few of us went to Mills together in overlapping time frames. we joked that it takes us being in a show in davis together to see one another.

it's always strange to walk into a show with NO idea of how your work has been hung or who you are next to.... but in this case i was super happy


they hung 3 weeks worth - and it was really strange but nice to see them on a wall.... i hadn't really thought about how they'd look that way - or in a group....

so... getting around to the 4 things that christine tagged me with.... update: camilla tagged me as well :)

four jobs i've had ::
1. not sure what to call it - but in high school i worked at a higher end furniture store where i helped out the designers and put fabric swatches/wall covering books away... i used to love looking at those
2. vintage clothing store
3. assistant director of a 2 SF galleries
4. waitress

four movies i could watch over and over ::
1. amelie [no surprise here]
2. room with a view [ mav too]
3. dead man [actually several movies by jim jarmush]
4. anything with audrey hepburn
since i was tagged twice - here are a few more.... both moives by soffia coppola, edward scissorhands....

four places i've lived ::
1. tuscon, az [but don't really remember this]
2. los angeles, ca
3. santa barbara, ca
4. oakland, ca [yeah - haven't really left sunny CA]

four TV shows i love ::
1. six feet under
2. the daily show
3. animal cops : new york
4. antiques roadshow
here are a few more.... south park, beverly hills 90210 [guilty pleasure], the sopranos

four places i've vacationed ::
1. new zealand
2. amsterdam and parts of germany
3. boston
4. new york

four of my favorite dishes ::
1. sushi
2. natto [ fermented soy beans . most people, including my dad and hubby think it's gross but it's comfort food for me]
3. a really really good hamburger [with fries of course]
4. panna cota [this is a desert, but i LOVE it]

4.5 actually i'm really lucky b/c hubby cooks all the time - so practically anything he makes....

four sites i visit daily ::
these are all DUHS - see the list on the left if you want to get specific!
1. flickr
2. bloglines
3. blingo [have you joined yet??]
4. blogger

four places i'd rather be right now ::
1. in a pool someplace warm
2. far far away
3. at the beach
4. someplace that magically has more time and teleporters.

and i'm not tagging four folks :: if you haven't done this and want to - consider yourself tagged!

wall work - beginning stages!

wall work update.... so... i yesterday i completed what i had "done" in my studio - and it's not quite right in this space. this is both good and nervewracking. after spending all day there it was sort of sad to leave the piece knowing that i still had work to not only do, but to figure out. this is good b/c a challenge is always good... and that's what this type of work is about - reacting TO a space - IN a space.... ah the life of site specific installation art.... but i think i can still pull it off... i hope i can... i hope i can.... [little engine that could]i think it needs to jump around from this wall to another.... i think i need to crochet another bigger red doily.....

oh boy do i have a stack of grading to attend to.... have a good weekend folks!

small bathroom Originally uploaded by dressform.

hi there.... i've been tagged by christine ... and i can't refuse her! i do have a craft or die t-shirt afterall! and i will get to it... i just need to think of my repsonses... so hopefully tomorrow....

so for amanda's corners of my home .... above is our downstairs bathroom... i have posted pics of the bottle collections on flickr before... but this is more a shot of the room. i HATE the sink in there... but for such a tiny space i actually like it. it's overcrowded in a good way [does that make sense?]. it's also the space where all my orchids go since it seems to be the only place where they have a slim chance to rebloom....

more arty shot:
fuzzy bathroom

tonight i drive to davis.... i'm looking forward to seeing the sketch show.... report on that tomorrow too

installation starts
took my stuff to start installing the wall work today.... fingers crossed it goes smoothly

My Photo
Name: lisa s
Location: oakland, CA, United States

hello and welcome to my blog. i'm a mixed media artist living in oakland, CA with my husband, 2 dogs, 1 cat and my baby daughter. i try to post once a week about things that inspire me, what's going on in my studio, and little tidbits of my life. thanks for visiting, reading and commenting!

please please please :: i am happy to have you use an image of mine on your blog or somewhere else, but PLEASE just ask permission before you do. and please don't hot link. it really is important that we respect one another and the work we do. and if you are too shy or busy to ask, could you at least link back to me? thank you in advance!


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