Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

doily trees by a doily lake

it's hard to believe it's december. i'm kind of in shock. the last month of the year? already? how? this week/weekend is the BIG cheese art fair extravaganza in miami. the above piece doily trees by a doily lake of mine went off to art- miami with richard levy gallery

wish i was going too - some sun sounds nice. i've never been to the fairs at miami, although i have been to and worked at art fairs in san francisco, LA, and new york. i'm conflicted about the whole art fair thing. on the one hand it doesn't claim to be anything other than a shameless commerce event. there are lots of people, and parties, and it's nice to see people excited about art. you get to see a TON of art all at once by some of the best artists making work in the world. on the other hand i think it's hard for artists to create work just for fairs - when you create work for a whole show you get to develop an idea [hopefully to its fullest potential]. when you are creating work just to fit into a booth or hotel room it's hard to keep the idea of making something saleable out of your head [not that making art for sale is necessarily a bad thing. i have just found that it can interfere with the overall process]. space is usually limited so you tend to need to make smaller work. blue chip artists always get primo spaces, and sometimes it's a little hard to stare the commerce aspect of art making so square in the face.

doily trees by a doily lake - side view

on a whole other note. i had a critique in my studio last night. most of the work was in progress so it's a nice time to get feedback. as i went about my very long and sometimes rather stupid day today [in a nutshell i spent over 2 1/2 hours at the permit office only to find my application wasn't complete... and then made a subsequent run to kinkos to make enough copies for my app where they were out of giant paper. so i waited for the roll to arrive and then they couldn't get the register to work. over an hour later i then missed the closing time of the permit office. sigh] i had a lot of time to mull over what was said.

doily trees by a doily lake  - backview

so what was in my head? nostalgia - how much is too much? subtle subervisity : do i care if it's too subtle for some people? being a bit tired of overthinking/worrying about the potential political nature of some of what i make. why do we sometimes cringe when people use the word "decorative" with art? am i purposefully turning away from inserting "high" conceptual content in my work at the moment? do i want the conceptual content to be the search for beauty and space, using furniture as stand ins for relationships, and honoring historic domestic activities? is that enough for me? or am i running from something that i should be facing? and piles. i was thinking about piles again. i think i need to bring back more piles.

i am almost finished teaching for the quarter. just big mounds of grading to tackle. i think i can i think i can. i'm kind of feeling like there won't be much holiday magic around here... but you never know.

thanks for reading my art rant.

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our wedding in tahoe was really lovely. it's so nice to watch two people so genuinely in love tie the knot.

we also spotted a bear. a big black bear. i've never been that close to a bear outside of a zoo. we are such city people it's kind of funny.

shot the above winter berries. will i ever tire of this type of shot? i have to say no. it's on repeat in my mind. and i love when other people do it too. shari does it really well .

happy thanksgiving everyone!

tomorrow is gobble gobble day here in the states. i'm in charge of the meal. i'm going traditional. turkey, cranberry sauce [of course!], peach stuffing, brussels sprouts, yam mashed potatoes, pomegranate and persimmon salad, gingerbread cookies w/ pumpkin ice cream for dessert.

i even made a floral arrangement. [my martha moment]. it's in a pedestal piece my grandmother gave me. the candlesticks are hers too. the table cloth i'll use tomorrow and the dishes will also be from her. i'm happy that she will be part of our meal.

if you are in the states i hope you have a lovely holiday. i think i'll be taking the rest of the week off from the internets. i have plenty of cleaning, cooking, and packaging of stuffs to do. but before i go....

new project

ever since completing drawing a day i have wanted to do another "project". i have figured one out. a domestic life. more on this soon.

and finally...... ez , and her partner in crime melissa asked me some really great questions. i'm the guest for tea over here today. if you check it out you can see a picture of a very small lisa....

see you next week!

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i've been thinking a lot about what "normal" is. what makes something normal. what makes a normal day. i've been trying to not qualify the idea - not a good or a bad day [or minute or hour] just normal. what makes me feel like things are going smoothly? how do you integrate unplanned for emotions or problems or stresses and allow yourself to simply move forward. and then how do you notice and get excited [again] about things that "normally" bring a smile to your face?

i can not express the complete and utter gratitude i feel to all of you. those that left comments, those that sent me emails, those that expressed concern, told me stories of their own grandmothers... your heartfelt words and understanding meant so much to me. thank you. thank you. thank you. your gestures were lovely.

i feel like it is time to try and come back to this space. to do whatever it is that i DO here.

so in the spirit of that....

sketch :: signe

i had a model come to my drawing 1 class to try and bring in the idea of gesture. she was an incredible model. really thoughtful and athletic poses - and an easy body to "see"... curvy. as i walked around the class i kept looking up and thinking oh - i'd like to draw that.

well eventually after an hour of short poses the class was ready for a long pose. they all needed a little time with out me hovering over them. so i sat in the back of class and sketched for 5 minutes on a paper towel.

figurative work is not really my cup of tea, but i have to admit it was really fun and liberating to draw her. even though i couldn't see all of her b/c a student's head was in the way. even though i had to stop because a student raised their hand for help.

drawing from life ain't so bad.

and in art news... i have work in 3 shows right now


up through Oct. 30 at Lawton Gallery in Green Bay Wisconsin.

Curated by Faythe Levine [handmade nation! ]

install shots

lawton gallery website

artists in the show: i'm sorry i don't have links for everyone !!
Kate Bingaman-Burt, Amy Carlton, Cinnamon Cooper, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Jennifer Marsh, Cat Mazza, Handmade Nation, Lisa Solomon, Stephanie Syjuco, and Melissa Vogley Woods.

ususual twist

in Spencertown, NY - at the Spencertown Academy Arts Center through November 16th

artists in the show:
Blanka Amezkua,Hildur Bjarnadottir,Mimi Graminski,Kate
, John Krynick,Cat Mazza,Valerie Molnar,Adrienne Sloane, and yours truly. Exhibition curated by Joyce Goldstein and Gwenn Mayers.


at anton gallery in Monterey CA.... through November 4th

noise website

artists in the show: again, sorry no links
Jesus Agular,Anthony Discenza, Clinton Fein, Richard James, Packard Jennings, Tony Sheeder, Lisa Solomon, Heather Wilcoxon

curated by Patrick Frank

ok then. have a great weekend. see you next week

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coagulant rifle target :: arnica chamissonis

so... i have two exhibitions opening today... one in chicago at the David Weinberg Gallery called Who Gets What : a political show. i wish i could pop in for the opening from 5-8 tonight, but alas my teleporter is still dysfunctional

The Franks
David Opdyke
Michael Ratulowski
Lisa Solomon
Sonja Thomsen
Krista Wortendyke

David Weinberg Gallery
300 W Superior Street
Suite 203
Chicago, IL 60654

they wanted to put coagulant rifle targets in the show - so i gathered all the ones i had left and then made 3 new ones. it was actually kind of fun to re-visit a series. when i was researching plants that would be good for wound care or to stop bleeding i had no idea there were so many. i ended up not using them all so i went back to 3. above is arnica chamissonis [or wild sunflowers]. they also put my pink plexi tank w/ green polka dots in the show - so that's kind of nice.... here's the other two coagulants:

coagulant rifle target :: pink geraniums
pink geraniums

coagulant rifle target :: wild purple geraniums
wild purple geraniums

3 generations : obasan, ocasan, grammy and me

also opening today is Tattered Cultures Mended Histories at the honolulu academy of arts .

if you want to read more about this piece [which is a portrait of me, my mom, and my grandmothers] please go here you can also see all 4 pieces individually on my website on the portfolio page click on thread drawings

September 6 - 27

This invitational contemporary fiber art exhibition includes works by twenty-two international fiber artists who are members of the Textile Society of America. The exhibition explores how dominant ideologies of a specific time and place often tatter the cultural heritage of the less dominant and culturally diverse. Artists whose works are featured in the exhibition include Emi Figi, Wendy Kawabata, Kim Jeeun, Chunghie Lee, Lisa Lee Peterson, Seiko Purdue, Denise Ava Robinson, Lisa Solomon, Gail Tremblay and Consuelo Jimenez Underwood. Tattered Cultures: Mended Histories is curated by University of Hawaii Assistant Professor and Fibers Area Chair Mary Babcock in collaboration with Academy Art Center Curator Carol Khewhok.

it's exciting that my work will be reunited with wendy kawabata's work . i wish i could go to hawaii for this!

hope you all have nice plans for the weekend!
i'm off to run some errands....

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illustration play in urban outfitters

i had a weird moment the other day. the urban outfitters catalogue arrived and as i was flipping through it [feeling old because there are very few things kids are wearing today that i want to wear. we've moved onto the 80's through a hippie lens?] - i came to the above page and paused. wait - that's illustration play. wait. i'm IN THAT BOOK. wait. urban outfitters is selling it? is it in stores? can i walk into a store and have a weird moment of i'm IN THAT BOOK in a hipster college environment? hmmmmm


so this last sunday the new york times included their T style magazine. my friend grace pointed out the above hermes outfit to me. it's pretty great. of course wandering through the snow w/ a yak [or buffalo?] in a million dollar outfit doesn't really seem feasible, but that's what we love about high fashion right?

also in the magazine was a fantastic article on catherine opie . when i was lucky enough to see her ice fishing series in LA i practically wept in front of them. i admire how she constantly looks for different things to photograph. and reading this quote made me see how she ties them all together:

"From early on, I wanted to create a language that showed how complex the idea of community really is, how we categorize who we are as human beings in relation to places we live," ... Her 1995 photographs of Beverly Hills and Bel Air homes aren’t so different, she says, from her portraits of the S-and-M community. "They’re both about the notion of the facade, and body modification is as much of a facade as architecture."

um yeah. chew on the notion of facade for a few hours and see what you come up with.

hope your wednesday is going well. and thanks for all the studio well wishes. and the underdog ink support. you guys are great!

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or shameless self promotion.

illustration play

i'm actually quite excited an honored to announce this news.... i've been included in a new book anthology called Illustration Play. what is most exciting is that it includes a bunch of artists i've really admired for a long time. to be in their company is an honor i never thought i'd have a chance to talk about!

we each have a multiple page spread [i think 10 pages total?] and a little questionnaire in the back with all our our handwritings.

Illustration play

victionary press did such a nice job. i love that they made little stickers from all of our works and stuck them all over the front and back cover. they have more shots of the inside on their site .

amazon link to the book : Illustration Play

david park

timothy buckwalter asked me to submit a 500 word essay on a moment that made me want to be a painter for a KQED piece he was putting together. my thoughts on david park [pictured above] and john zurrier - the person that introduced me to him are here . what's great is that john's response to the same question is right below mine.....

finally.... the multi-talented patricia asked me if i would participate in her collection of interviews blog craft synergy . my interview is here . if you haven't checked out craft synergy you can get lost in all the interviews she's conducted. wow. thanks for asking me to participate patricia!

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readymade mag - i made some plastic plates !

i was super duper excited when readymade asked if i wanted to do a little something for their holiday make it yourself guide.

using the makit melamine plate kit i made 4 designs of plates. 3 ended up in the magazine. i actually really like how they shot the spread.... how excited was i that the coolest bento boxes were in the shot with my plates ?!?

readymade mag - plastic plates

the pdf's for the shadow drawings are available here ....

sorry i've been a.w.o.l.... it's what must be right now. i'm hoping that once classes are over i'll be able to catch my breath a little.

be well friends!

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hi there.

i'm going to try and get all the self-promotional stuff done in one post here.... :)

here goes::

letter press print #2

new stitched letterpress prints are available in my shop

pattern pattern pattern

a green and yellow argyle tank installation - not put up by me [gasp!] will be on view at women and their work in their show pattern pattern pattern. it looks like a really nice group of artists.

i hear that kim and alyson might be going. let me know what you think ladies!!

holiday shop

some friends and i are selling some goods!

Please come by on Friday December 7, from 2-7pm or
Saturday December 8 from 10am - 4pm

support and buy handmade!

5528 Dover Street - please enter on 56th street
Oakland, CA 94609

or if you can't make that sale, there will be some stuff at


at blankspace gallery
6608 san pablo avenue, oakland, california 94608 • 510.547.6608

Holidayland «« December 7 - 17th

Holiday First Friday Reception «« December 7, 7-10pm

underdog ink jewels

i'll have some new underdog ink goodies with me. some are already on the website - and new shirts will hopefully be done JUST IN TIME [phew].

beholder's favorite things

and if you want to have some fun in San Francisco....

who : suzanne at the beholder

what : curated a show with some of my paintchips

when: Friday December 7th 6-9pm

where: DISH in Hayes Valley 151 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA

why: It's the Hayes Valley Holiday Block Party

OK - now i have to go back to organizing stuff for all these events.... have a great friday!

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over the river and through the woods

almost there, almost there, almost there! been packing and wrapping and thinking

tuesday i leave for LA where i will have the amazing assistance of the lovely wenders and alyssa - who i'm so excited to meet - plus all the incredible help of the ultra fantastic staff at little bird gallery .

i'll share more about my thoughts on the show when it's actually up. [no counting chickens before they hatch]

just in case you thought i wasn't making crafty things anymore i thought i'd share my gradebook. i didn't like the plain black cover - so

i do still make stuff

i used moonstitches really great book cover tutorial as my starting point. i also used some trim and fabric i brought back from japan. what i realized while making this is that i'm no sally or martha or blair or all the hordes of amazing crafters out there. i am a lazy sewer. especially when i feel under the gun. i know how to be neat and perfect, but i just rarely do it. sigh. by the way - check out moonstitches owl tutorial too - those owls are SO CUTE.

so i'll be on ship tomorrow and shari and i resume our documentary project on monday - her blog - but i may be a little absent the rest of this week and all of next as i get my show up.... wish me luck!

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in asakusa we went on the roof of a less glamorous department store. this one had a playland for the kids. all the coin operated slightly used but still colorful robots, cars, ships were such a find.


it's too bad i don't have the sound that this one made for you....

where robots go to retire

there also was a section of broken toys. so sad, but also so lovely

fushini inari [polaroid version]

this was from the 1000 tori shrine outside of kyoto.

and now i'm off. mylissa from little bird is up here for the weekend and she's coming by the studio to preview the show. and if you are in the LA area.... mark you calendar... October 13th - that's the date of the opening. i hope to see people there [or i will be sad and silly looking standing lonely in front of my art]

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hemlock bud

this little hemlock bud is going to be donated to eireann's auction :: one in ten . this is one of those moments where i'm proud to be part of a community that supports one another. you can read more about it on the one in ten site, but eireann's mom suffered an aneurysm - and is making a miraculous recovery. please please help. there are SO MANY gorgeous things that will be up for sale. [i have my eye on several things].

i am completely overwhelmed by your response to my show. thank you for being interested at all in what i do. it's really wonderful. in the comments a couple of people wanted to know more about the work. i think artists often don't really like to talk about their own work - and i'm no exception. but.... i tried to go into a bit more depth about both the pieces and what i am thinking about in making them. you'll find that in the comments of that last post.

so feeling kind of numbery around here.... i was tagged... by dandelion , kathleen , and initially by hannah for the 8 things about you meme. i'm not very good at these sorts of things, but i'll give it a try....

one «« much to the dismay of my dad, i have no interest in dancing. it's not that i don't appreciate the act of dancing - nor do i make fun of those who go out and cut a rug [in fact i think it's great to be so free]. but it's just not fun to me. the exception to make this rule was that i really liked dancing in obon festivals when i was a kid [i also liked my tap dancing class. a lot actually].

two «« sometimes i wish i was a singer in a band [too bad i can't write a song to save my life]

three «« sometimes i wish i had a trust fund

four «« i loathe exercising - the planned go to the gym kind. i love walking or swimming or any number of other activities - just don't ask to see me in a leotard.

five «« i used to have really really really long hair. to the middle of my back long. this seems so not me now - my hair hasn't touched my shoulders in over 15 years.

six «« sometimes i wish i was a florist. that all i did all day is play with flowers. and NOTHING else.

seven «« i am notorious for making stupid faces at cameras. i hate having my picture taken [it's a bit better if i take a self portrait]. there are countless pictures of me with my tongue sticking out, my nose scrunched, my hands over my face....

eight «« i am a minimalist stuck in a pack rat body. if i could just keep buying stuff and had limitless storage i would probably re-do my house over and over [and clear out a lot of stuff - just put it in rotation]. i love setting up still-lives or finding the perfect thing to balance out a collection. i also hate clutter [but make it and live with it]. ideally i'd have rooms with different flavors : the modern room, the euro cottage room, the bright palette room....

phew - i made it to eight!! i almost thought about just seeing if there were questions anyone wanted me to answer like blair just did. but then what if no one had any questions ?? i don't think there's anyone else to tag, but - if you want to divulge 8 things and haven't already - please use this as your excuse!

anyway - who knows - maybe i'll make it to two posts this week. i'm frantically trying to update my website in order to make an announcement. wish me luck.

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sorry, you've seen this photo if you've been to sew green . but i didn't really talk about it there... there's this purple house that you can see from our backyard. and honestly i hate it. i think it's the ugliest purple. and the building is trying to be modern in that 70's-80's trying to be modern but looks so dated way. but the other evening - i think it was the first of the extended daylight savings time - it looked really lovely in the light. note to self : it's definitely possible to find beauty in what you may think is the ugliest thing ever.

my talk went OK i guess. i really am shocked that people want to know this stuff. at some point i managed to find some sort of rhythm i think... what really amazes me is to see the ties that bind my work together. from one thing to the next it's like - OH i'm talking about the same thing! i may add a bit, or parse something down, but really it's all the same ideas. like i'm in the wash cycle... chug chug chug - the suds move around - clothes touch, if it's the wrong/right tempurature one article may bleed onto another.... all the different shirts, pants, socks... coming together in a soup.... i want to particularly thank elizabeth, and mimi for coming by and introducing themselves. it's always nice to confirm that people do really exist outside of the internet! [and are usually even NICER than you think they will be reading their blogs. and it's so good to gaze into people's eyes!!]

i'm at this point where i think i just need to put my head down and barrel thru all the stuff that is on my path and plate.... grading, numerous projects [thank god they aren't all due at once - well, 2 are simultaneous, but], coming up with a new syllabus, an application my heart isn't really into but i know i should do anyway - if only for the experience, 2 other applications that i'd like to do, but not sure if i am going to be able to get it together.... plus research vinyl, pick out new colors for felt tanks [!!!].... hmmmm

so off i go.... [and forgive me if i'm a bit absent the next few days...]

do check out ship - i posted today on the new book - on beauty....

have a great weekend


orange chair :: past and present

so... if you are in the area and have nothing to do tomorrow night, Wednesday, March 14th at 7pm...

i'll be talking about me and my work at CCA - on the Oakland Campus - in the textiles department [if you know where dick blick art store is on broadway - it's above that!]. i'm working on finalizing the order of my images and what the heck i'll be saying. *cough cough* i'm hoping there will be questions. [please let there be questions].

above is one of the pieces i sent of for my show at the richard levy gallery . besides the stuff that i'm constantly dealing with [domesticity, feminism, art + craft, etc] i feel as though i'm starting to talk more about history, about longing, about the past and how things change. i'm really getting into wallpaper - as pattern, as personality and more specifically as a marker for time. you know... if you hang a frame on the wall and it doesn't move for 20 years and you remove it - how the color shifts - it's like the wall has a memory. i'm also developing the idea of the beds and chairs having more personalities - not simply interacting with each other as stand-ins for relationships as they have been, but also as entities in their own worlds. what type of person IS this chair? where do they live? what does it say about them. i titled the above piece orange chair :: past and present - as if it's the same chair in the same room, but things have changed - and the thread is what ties the past to the present.....

if you come tomorrow night you might hear me say the above all over again..... OK i got to get back to prepping...

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have you been wondering at all about the whole step thing with my blog? [other than the reference to addiction recovery?]

i guess at the root of it i've been thinking about the steps it takes to run a blog. i was wondering what made a successful blog for me. 12 steps ago i had a mini-crisis and wanted to take a break. i even contemplated stopping entirely. but then i realized that wasn't necessarily the best path. this blog often offers a way for me to re-evaluate what is going on in my life and studio and often helps me re-focus. plus it's definitely motivational - must feed the blog! but i think my favorite part is that it allows me to stay in communication with a host of entirely too wonderful people. since i spend a lot of time in my own head - this is a very very good thing.

in my mind step 12 was always going to be a redesign. so here it is.

happy weekend folks! see you on monday with the documentary project!


a bed dreams a blue doily dream

above is one of the pieces i shipped off to the levy gallery . technically the show opens tomorrow i guess. it's always sad to pack up and empty your studio... and then i feel bad not being able to help hang the show. i implicitly trust how they will put it together - but i sent them a mini doily installation and am hoping it's not too big of a pain in the neck for them to put up. [i ended up painting doilies on acetate - not as good as when i put them on the wall - but they will do].

if you are in, near, around albuquerque you should check out the show. it's up for a very long time - till april 7th. there's a closing reception which i'll attend then. i'll post a few more images of work in the show over the next few....

what else is new? i am up to my ears in grading. 2 long hard crits this week - but some fantastic work and effort by students. i'm working on a logo design... i have this other project that i can't talk about yet and... taxes. i've got to take care of taxes this weekend! and i have to take down i want sugar. it was fast, but sweet. bye bye cupcakes

if you are in NY - aurora and i are in a benefit show for the the artist network a really cool space in NY. there's a big pink rhino target there.... the proceeds from the sale go to help fund the space and their residency [which is incredibly cool]. you can read more about it on their site.

if you missed it.... a few days ago grace used some photos of my house as a sneak peak on d*... i've really been loving seeing everyone's spaces. one's like lisa c's where i've actually also been inside [it's better than the photos!]. k.c's house today is just as lovely as the items she posts about. alyson's house was also really cool.....

and finally - to make things full circle - bed to bed. did you know that wendy is doing a photography study - "a year of beds". of course i am in love with this idea... and so is eschu - who blogged about it. i just recently discovered eschu on flickr ... her photos are just stunning.

was it just me or did the week fly by? oh! if you want something to watch brianna gave me a CD comp a spell ago and it has this feist song that i can't hear enough of. watch the video for mushaboom .

happy weekend!

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doily prize

are you ready for some shame-less self promotion? first though - THANK YOU so much for your repsonse to shari and my project! we are thrilled that you are so on board with us. it feels amazing. [no pressure, right? no pressure]

second miss gracia wins the prize for correctly guessing what i was recording.... i was counting the emails that i got [in different accounts] every day. gracia... email me to claim your prize [and this isn't a nigerian wire money to an offshore account scam].

so... i know many of you already know this, but i thought i should talk about it here too - incase. [and this is where i start to blush]. jan the brilliance behind poppytalk - one of my alltime favorite design blogs asked if i'd do an interview with her. she published it yesterday on design sponge's guest blog . thank you jan for asking whip smart questions and for being a big cheerleader of my work. it really means a lot to me.


on that post jan also revealed my latest web-endeavor when it comes to my work. i now have some work on the beholder . i'm really excited about this - i see so much work i just love on that site. i also love the idea of making art available and affordable. suzanne [the owner] tells me that she's been making sales to nice folks all over the country and even in far away places - so cool! i hope my work finds happy homes.

also yesterday i was blown away by jenny's drawing of me. she asked if she could draw my portrait and well.... jenny i love what you did. you are a huge talent, a kind soul, and a wonderful artist!

i think, friends that this may be it for this week. i am feeling the crunch of deadlines and the like. i will try to poke around internet land, but if you notice i'm absent - you know why! happy wednesday! [thanks for sticking thru all the me me me]


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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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