30 April 2009

hear hear, keith ellison!

julia just read to me an article from the star tribune about some politicians who were arrested the other day for protesting the removal of aid workers from darfur. our representative, keith ellison, was one of them. here are some highlights:

Ellison said he and the other members of Congress who were arrested succeeded in bringing national attention to the Darfur crisis that they wouldn't have received otherwise. "I could have sent out a press release, but it would be, 'Yeah, so what?'"

With Ellison representing a Minneapolis-based congressional district that many analysts consider one of the safest Democratic seats in the nation, his arrest is unlikely to affect his standing at home.

"I think that the people of the Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota believe passionately in human rights," Ellison said. "They want me to lead from the front. They want me to set a moral tone."

"How many news outlets had Darfur in any of their story lines this morning?" he said. "There are 1.3 million lives that hang in the balance here, and nobody was doing a story on that until this happened."

27 April 2009

a short post on monday=a great weekend.

one morning i look out my window and BAM! the tree across the alley is all decked out in gorgeous white blossoms. happy sigh.

oops, this is not from the weekend, but the type i set in my first letterpress class:

at the last minute, i snagged a ticket to voltage, which was pretty great (although anthony and i agreed that it was not quite as stunningly life-changing as last year's). hands down favorite: lucy michelle and the velvet lapelles, fittingly dressed up like gypsies. i wasn't able to get many great pictures, but here are a couple. i was particularly glad to see some models that looked like fairly normal girls.

also loved: m. ward (always a fabulous show), the farmers' market, a beautiful rainy sunday lounging, cleaning, cooking, and eventually having all kinds of friends over for a lovely dinner. a full, happy weekend makes the prospect of going back to work a little more bearable.
welcome, spring!

24 April 2009

hoo-rah, it's the weekend!

what are you doing this weekend? i have tickets to see m. ward (he is so amazing and beautiful--definitely at the top of my celebrity crush list), the minneapolis farmers' market makes its return, and i desperately want to hit the art crawl in st. paul at some point.
oh, and don't forget that i like you just opened in its new location! it's right around the corner from my house, and i am so excited to have a fabulous handmade boutique in my neighborhood. they are having a grand opening on saturday. treats at 4!
i am so happy that spring is here!

23 April 2009

box lunch.

i haven't been eating a lot of interesting food in my cube lately, but here are a few little items that i have been enjoying.

if i weren't an artist, i would maybe be a cowgirl. or a chef, a gardener, or a dancer.
or a photojournalist. i have an eye and can take a decent picture (a skill i am beginning to sharpen), but i will likely not ever be any kind of photographic genius. which makes me glad that there are people in the world who are.
i often wish i could hop on a plane and do exactly what photographer lana slezic did when she traveled around afghanistan, photographing and living with the women there. she has an amazing book of photographs, which is now officially on my wish list.
i am really taken with the color and compositions of the photographs, as well as their startling, beautiful content.

(originally found here.)

22 April 2009

i am a letterpress acolyte.

tonight begins a class that i have been looking forward to for a long time. i enrolled in the winter, and at the time april seemed soooo faaar awaaay. but now april is here, almost over even! and for the next six weeks i will be busy learning as much as i possibly can from the experts.
i am so excited!

signs of spring.

the birds have returned! they wake me up in th mornings (or, at least i hear them), and have officially moved back into their place above our porch light. i am always so impressed and fascinated by their process of completely tearing apart their old nest and constructing a new one. and they are always intricate and perfect. and, they always have babies! baby birds!

21 April 2009

poetry club.

a couple of weeks ago, at a post-church outing, it was suggested that we all learn and memorize a poem to recite to one another. i was assigned anne sexton. although i didn't know much about her before, i was kind of disappointed to be assigned a poet who is, in my mind, rather trendy.
but! then i did some research, and asked the poetry experts in my life, and i eventually found a poem i really liked--a few, in fact, but i barely had the time to memorize one (and poorly, at that).
we all reconvened on sunday night to share our poems and it was delightful. i forget how much i like poetry! and i would like to become a poetry advocate, if there is such a thing. because i think it is a rather under-appreciated medium. so maybe i will start sharing poems with you all. one thing i like about poetry is that it usually takes me a couple of readings to totally understand the poem--and each time i read a poem, or hear it, the more i enjoy it.
anyway, here is the poem i shared with my friends:


It is in the small things we see it.
The child's first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
cover your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off your heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways,
each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen,
those you love will live in a fever of love,
and you'll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you'll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out.

i also found a bunch of other anne sexton poems here.

20 April 2009

wash day.

i should have done my laundry tonight. and by tonight, i mean three days ago. instead, i am just writing about doing my laundry. you know, whatever. i completed step 1* in my very scientific process of getting my clothes clean. keep in mind that i only actually own about a week's worth of clothing. on a recent cleaning out kick, i got rid of all the clothes that i feel gross in. that took out about half of my wardrobe, which was not large to begin with. i also have nothing for spring. let me rephrase that: i have nothing for spring that fits. i had a mean little surprise the other day when i pulled out my summer skirts and dresses (all six of them--i kid you not). let me tell you, they do not fit like they did last summer.
so we can add the diligent counting of calories to my to do list for the next several weeks.

*step 1: pull the heaped-up laundry basket out of the closet, dump out the contents, and sort them. after counting my quarters to confirm that i indeed to not have enough to wash any clothes this evening. this only happens after the laundry has been sitting in the closet, ready to be washed, for about a week, during which i have taken several dives back into said laundry basket for the favorite pair of jeans or a shirt that still smells acceptable.

step 2: drag the overflowing laundry basket out to the living room and let it sit almost in my walking path for one to three days. necessary quarter collecting usually happens during this time and in fact is directly related to the length of time devoted to this step in the process.

step 3: finally collect five quarters, enough to wash one load--but not dry--and dig out the most necessary items from the laundry basket. wash these items and tell myself that this will just "tide me over" (no pun intended) until i have time to wash all my clothes. dry the necessary items on my trusty drying rack.

that's about as far as i ever get. i was never a laundry procrastinator until i moved into an apartment with a horror-movie basement. maybe some day i will share more details about that (cause yeah, aren't we all fascinated with laura's laundry habits?! did i just spend a lot of time and energy telling you about the minutiae of my life? ah, well).
how i dream of a clean, non-coin-operated laundry setup. oh, that will be wonderful. someday.

photo found here. if only i could get away with showing up to work in just my underwear. also, there is an entire blog devoted to the subject of garment racks. who knew?

17 April 2009

some high (and low) lights.

i was told today in my "informal" (read: surprise!) quarterly review that i am perceived to be "unapproachable" by some of my co-workers. it's hard not to let stuff like that get to me, even when i don't give two shakes what my co-workers think of me, and especially when the news is delivered by a condescending robot-boss. but still, somehow it is really hard to shake it off.
must. get. out.
in the process of doing research, i came across a press much like the one i bought, only bigger, more local, and cheaper than the press i bought. sigh. i need to be happy with what i've got. i am happy with what i've got! it's hard not to let stuff like that lead to me second-guessing myself and my plan for my life/career/getting out of my miserable unapproachable existence.
i enjoyed a great night of art show and dinner with kelly, which ended with complimentary cupcakes at the bulldog, apparently for telling the host how much we like it there. loke it, is more like it (i am trying to get used to that word as a possible like/love combo i am seeking. i am not sure yet). but seriously, i loke the bulldog! those burgers are the best burgers! and the cupcakes? i have not ever had a bad experience there. ever. except maybe the one time when the music got really, really loud at nine o'clock, but even that is understandable.
and now, because i worked out in about four different ways and times today, i am exhausted. and i know i will sleep like a champ tonight. a definite highlight.
and! i get to have coffee in the morning!

when it rains, it pours letterpresses.

last night my friend sarah came by the studio and dropped off this little baby (which makes three for me in the press department--more heavy equipment than this girl ever expected to possess). it came along with five trays of type and a box full of more type, furniture, etc, etc, etc. it's all a bit dusty, and the press needs some real tlc, but i like the idea of learning how to restore a press (hopefully i will actually like learning to restore a press just as much).

somehow a leaf got into the type tray and i thought it made a lovely color combination. does anyone know how to make my photos bigger on blogger? do i need to start with bigger photos?
HA! got it.

16 April 2009

summertime! (or something close to it.)

it was SEVENTY-FOUR degrees in minneapolis today! it felt incredible to ride my bike down hennepin during rush hour to the y--i sort of really like my tough biker side--and back home again. anthony and i headed to albert's for a little dinner and music. i'm not sure i even have an explanation for these photos. something about "we're the roommates of the month, wouldn't we make for a great photo?" which is the same as asking me to pull out my camera and start snapping, of course.

14 April 2009

easter weekend.

this weekend was a lot of good food, adorable children, and many rounds of rumikub with the grandma. i feel really sick tonight (is today tuesday? i am so confused). i never get sick, but i have been more sick in the last four months than i have been since my kindergarten strep marathon (nine times in nine months, folks). and although i don't want to blame my new boss directly, or blame anything really, i would not be surprised if my raging headaches, fevers, and nausea were work-stress-related. i hate being sick. i hate not being able to do things, and being forced to lie on the couch, sweating it out. i have goals to work on, people! and here i sit with time on my hands, and no energy to do any of them. grrrr.
also, we have an ant problem that i do not know how to solve. also, our apartment is being shown this week and i have to keep it clean. i feel overwhelmed by life tonight.
hey, but aren't these kids so adorable? let's look at how cute they are:zoey heads up the composition portion of the afternoon while greta and graham assist. i love the little pink dresses and the feet!

grady is totally fascinated with the camera--seriously, this is the most easy-going baby i have ever met.
annika reads to the older baby-cousins while ava scoots around, reaching for her own book. she is the other most easy-going baby i have ever met. so sweet.

and of course, i love me some good midwestern architecture.
my mom is pretty intent on the game, and grandma makes her power play. she's pretty good at rumikub, especially for a woman who says, "now, how do we play this game?" every time the tiles get dumped onto the table. she still wins.

i am inheriting hands that look like this. i think they are beautiful.


you may have seen this already, but last night julia read me this article, and then we watched the following video and were both in tears.
seriously, people. it's pretty amazing (not to mention, it sort of redeems reality tv in some ways).

13 April 2009


i had a wonderful, long weekend (pictures to come). now it's late and i am tired.
and i am having a really, REALLY hard time thinking about going to work in the morning.
my throat doesn't feel good.
i might be getting sick.

10 April 2009

one more thing.

phillip toledano's days with my father has been making appearances in some different blogs this week, and it is indeed so touching and wonderful and difficult. i found the format a little confusing at first, but go with your gut and click when you see the little hand and you will find an amazing story about aging, loss, and family.
(i found it originally here and then again here.)


when i was growing up in southwestern colorado, i remember a bumper sticker my mother had tacked to the bulletin board in her office (also the laundry room/mud room). it said, "escape to wisconsin", words i learned to read before i understood what they meant. our annual summer trips to the midwest did not exactly feel like an escape.
then we moved to wisconsin and the bumper sticker made even less sense.
now that i am grown up and moved to the city, i have a better appreciation for the beautiful green and rolling hills of northcentral wisconsin. i can't wait to escape this weekend.

i am heading to my parents' house for easter and my grandmother's eighty-seventh birthday. i have to say that i really love easter--when i was a kid, my mom would create elaborate hunts for our easter baskets, with full-on riddles, limericks, and crazy clues that sent us all over the house until we found our treasures. one year they were stashed in the dryer. when i was little, it also meant a new dress and sometimes a hat, a one-time-a-year accessory.
but lately, i am just really grateful for a springtime excuse for our extended family to get together. there will be lots of hilarious children, favorite aunts and uncles, and my mother (and my dad. i love you dad! but you all know about mothers. i am proof that you can successfully bond with your child even if you don't spend the first three minutes of her life staring into each others' eyes*).

i have had a really foggy, exhausted week and i look forward to getting out of the city and away from my normal routine. i hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

*i was born c-section. somehow, even though i am far, far away from having children, i am inordinately obsessed with the statistic that a mother and baby bond most during the first three minutes of life.

08 April 2009

so adorable!!

i ran across this in my blog travels yesterday. these drawings are adorable, and turning them into letterpressed cards is so great--it really takes the beauty and imagination of kids' art and elevates it to a fabulous finished product. i wish i had thought of it!

(found at peculiar press, via simple+pretty.)

07 April 2009

my kind of jewelry.

who wouldn't want to wear crayon rings? just imagine all the inadvertent color you would add to your world!

found via pretty.pretty.paper, available at the future perfect.

06 April 2009

my weather obsession.

i am getting a huge kick out of this site, which diana shared this morning.
exploring it is almost like going on a little world tour. or, it's as close as i am going to get anytime soon.

artists i like: josie lewis

in an effort to bring stability to your lives (or, at least in your expectations of me and my blog), and in an effort to get me to look at more art--arty art, fine art, whatever you want to call it--i bring you the first installment of my appropriately named series, artist i like. here you go.
i really like josie's painting/collages (created out of scraps of found paper and resin layered together) for many reasons. they are colorful and mesmerizing, and they push the boundaries between 2- and 3-dimensional work. i really like boundaries and boundary-pushers. they fascinate me. where is the line between joking and seriousness? good and evil? early and late? faith and foolishness?
ah, i digress. because in her work, ms. lewis (should i write about people like the ny times does? that could be fun) does not discuss boundaries directly, although she does talk about how they are painting, collage, possibly sculpture, and related to photography (since the bits of paper are taken from photographs in magazines.
she also talks about how animals digest their food--comparing to her own consumption of the materials she uses and the resulting pieces that are created.

these images have been in my mind for weeks--months, even. i can't get over their simultaneous flatness and depth, as well as their intense color. the process appeals to me as well--breaking down images into colors, textures, and shapes, then assembling them into a larger whole. it has got to be time consuming, but there is something about it that is really appealing to me. i really have a thing for process. it's one of those things that draws me in and makes me think, "man, i wish i had thought of that." her website is full of images, i encourage you to check it out. oh! and she's from minneapolis. so, you know. we have that going for us. okay, i'll stop drooling now and let you enjoy them.

(all images found on the artist's website.)

03 April 2009

to do list.

jena is a genius. not only does she have a popular design blog, she has recently started a new blog for those of us working toward having, or already have, our own creative micro-businesses. and now, she has introduced her modish monthly goal meetup! and, she's pretty. and so nice!
all of this is perfect for a capricorn/badger girl like me. i like lists, i like to get things done, cross things off, stay focused. and now, as i share with you my To Do List for April, you will see the mountain of work i have ahead of me. but this is just motivation! and i feel up for the challenge--if i didn't, i wouldn't be doing this. okay, okay, on with it then.

1. DONE! finalize business card design. i am open to helpful and kind input. i am going for simple, clean, and a little clever. i would have loved to upload a larger photo right here, but i am still mystified by how blogger photo uploading works. anyway, these will be letterpressed by moi, probably on various colors of paper in various other (darker) colors of ink.

2. DONE! order a boxcar base and plates for hello, thank you, and business cards from boxcar press.
3. DONE! buy a printer. maybe that should have been #2, as printing these things out before sending them to the platemakers might be helpful. as would learning how to use adobe illustrator.
4. DONE! talk to a lawyer. good thing for me heather s. is in town and sleeping on my couch tomorrow night.
5. DONE! order paper, paper samples, and envelopes.
6. design and print mel's baby announcements.
7. BACK BURNER. develop regular blog content and start writing it. anything you guys particularly want my perspective on? this will probably be an on-going project.
8. start printing sample stationery sets. run a promotion asking if anyone wants a sample stationery set made my me.
9. decide which causes i want to support with my business (kiva, invisible children, and lifewater are the ones that have been on my mind lately--oh, there are so many!) **i think i am going to go with kiva and toms shoes to start. but if anyone knows of a good organization that helps afghan women, i would be interested to know about it.
10. finish my once-through of the boss of you. this book is amazing, ladies.
11. get a file box.
12. nail down a final budget, mission statement, and overall vision for my business.
13. write a profile--heather and kim lambright, could you maybe help with that? and organize blog links, make the whole thing look more intentional and together.

okay, that is a lot of goals, but a lot of them are underway, and a lot of them are small and have been on my to do list for a long time, so it's definitely time they become concrete and crossed off.

also, a couple of working habits i want to start:
1. work in my workspace! there's a reason i bought this little table from ikea and put it together myself (well, dad did the tough stuff).
2. no tv while i'm working. this just leads to wasted time on the internet/computer.
i kind of can't get over these images of a fun, outdoor party. i have been feeling itchy about life lately, wanting terribly to escape the city, see something new, and have some quiet. not that a party is quiet, but it is fun, and this one is the perfect visual escape from the three beige walls of my cube. i wish blogger would keep the pictures in a larger size when i upload them. humph.

(image from birch, via jordan)

kinthup and gloria

my friend christi has opened an etsy shop! check out her lovely crocheted things. i am particularly taken with this beautiful scarflet (and the term scarflet!)

02 April 2009


oddly enough, i have not been eating in my cube this week. however, i did get part of my amazon order in the mail! and i am excited. i really tried to hold back on the number of pictures of pages from the books, for your sakes.
the cd's have already had a spin or two in the player (i am currently reveling in the twenty minutes of peepers at the end of middle cyclone. i hope that's not a spoiler for anyone. they are the sound of spring).
i am excited about at least reading about making cheese and butter; whether or not i am going to have the time or opportunity to make cheese and butter is another matter.
general printing is likely to change my life. i am quite hopeful.

abbey swears by them as a husband-catcher. it might be time to get me some peonies. i'm mostly joking. well, sort of. besides, aren't they just pretty? yeah. we still don't even have buds here in the perpetual tundra.

01 April 2009

P. just posted about this guy yesterday, and i am totally taken with his blog. he makes food and photographs it. his voice is so calm and real, it is a great escape from my dreary workday.
oh my gosh! i am going to stop talking about how dreary my workdays are. i think it is established that i don't like my job, and that i am dying to get out of it, to work for myself, to do something meaningful. so i can stop talking about it, stop obsessing about it, stop giving it any more attention than it deserves.
so i can stop whining!
i hate whining.
and the cure to whining is gratitude, so i am going to be grateful for the things i do enjoy, my friends at work, and friends on the interwebs, two legs that get me to work and home every day, and my eyes that let me take in all the beauty the world has to offer. blah, blah, blah.
i mean it, i really do.