Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Family Heirlooms

I've got a lot to learn... The computer aspect of an art business is part fun, part confusion. But one thing I learned this week was that I want to focus this blog on my art a bit more, less with the various ramblings.

So. Today is my dad's 81st birthday (wait, I WILL bring this around to my art...) and he's been wanting me to create a piece for his back yard. Most of my work is not meant for being outside, so I've hesitated because I didn't know what that would be. But last week, when he visited my new studio, I showed him the piece I created for WNCC's Recycled ARTicles show. I had used an old steamer lid that I'd grown up with; it's full of dents and stains and is basically kind of gross. But with character. Anyway, turns out the lid was my grandmothers, and my dad remembered it well from many dishwashing sessions as a kid. (That's the kind of family heirloom I received...) Anyway, as it was a recycled piece anyway, I decided to re-recycle it into something he could gaze upon in his yard. So now the well-used steamer lid has a new life as garden art. And the best part is, he won't have to wash it.

Steamer Lid Shield,
mixed media
Melissa Lanitis Gregory

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Swap-O-Rama-Rama, baby!

I love this event. It's the reason I got out my mom's ancient Elna sewing machine last year and actually sewed something, without a pattern. It's the reason I've got fun "new" clothes to wear. And the reason I no longer fear sewing. I didn't have my camera, so I don't have any pics to share, but you can go to www.swaporamarama.org for more information about the swap, and to get on their mailing list. I found a short jean skirt that I made longer by adding a strip of plaid fabric (off of another skirt) to the bottom, and found a few comfy, worn shirts to wear in the studio. More, too. Just big fun. Okay, time to get in the studio, it's getting late.

Underground Artwalk

This is my answer to the Artwalk that happens at the other end of town, and the other end of art...and no, we don't go underground to do it. This is the Underground Artists in action, above-ground. On the ground. On the beach, to be specific. A walk, a bunch of spontaneous creativity, and a hell of alot of fun.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Rant

Holidays are just not all that we expect them to be. They should be outlawed. No more hokey holidays! Just want to celebrate as things come up, thank you. Like, "Happy You Made it Through Having your Period and the Sinus Infection at the Same Time Day". Or "National Take A Nap Day".

I've got so much I want to write about, but this week is gonna be super busy, what with working and getting ready to go to the Swap-O-Rama-Rama and the Maker Faire this weekend. So the other ideas will just have to wait....Just want to stick in photo of one of the new clocks...cause for celebration, and just in time for this evening's "Made it Through the Day Without Causing Bodily Harm to Anyone" festivities!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Think Outside the Closet

I'm thanking the folks at HGTV's show "That's Clever" for NOT having any more slots left (I waited to apply, wasn't sure I wanted to...then I did, and they were interested but had just filled their slots.) It would have been fun, but crazy with all else that's going on. This way I can go to the Maker Faire in San Mateo (www.makerfaire.com) this weekend. Mostly I want to head to Swap-O-Rama-Rama (www.swaporamarama.org). These are held all over the country by Wendy Tremayne, and this one is part of the Maker Faire. I went last year and got all fired up about sewing, and recycling my clothes, and dressing funkier and was reminded to "think outside the closet"... what got me so energized was the idea of sewing without a pattern. I never realized this was a problem for me, but it was so freeing to just cut that jacket open and hey, don't measure it! Just start cutting! That's it! Rip that sleeve off! Let us silkscreen on your pant leg! Fearless. Loved it. Going back next weekend.

The Art of Insomnia

My husband sleeps with his watch on. What is the purpose of that? Is he worried he'll be late for a dream? Or wake up in the night, and desperately need to know what time it is? He hardly ever wakes up in the middle of the night, and when he does, he goes right back to sleep. Unlike myself. 4:30 in the morning does not seem like an acceptable time to get out of bed. Yet somehow, my mind feels it is the perfect time to redesign my garden (I am using this term very loosely; it's more like a yard with some haphazard plantings). My mind also likes to play in the studio at this hour, although my body will not get out of bed, so I lay awake and THINK about cool things to do with the latest series of pieces...These sometims pan out and most times not. It seems that THINKING about art, and actually doing it are very different things. But I did have some ideas that I want to try today. If I can stay awake...

I wonder what would happen if I DID choose to get out of bed at 4:30 in the morning, and stagger into my studio to actually work instead of think. Is that a good time to work, or does it only SEEM so from the comfort of my comforter?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Referencing Others

Little League games are exhausting... and I'm not even playing! So I'm sleepy, and this will be short. Been working like mad, and thinking like crazy about this town , my art, and my place in it all. More on that another time. Also, good Luann Udell blog entry today, about making it through the tough times, and book by Seth Godin: www.luannudell.com/blog. I like what SG says about making it through what he calls the "dip" (the tough times) because some days I have trouble making it through the tough moments...let alone "times" (I'm assuming we're talking long stretches here...).

Friday, May 4, 2007

Going Undergound

I wore the dress today (see last post). And if felt good. We had an Underground Artist meeting, and it was a sort-of birthday party for all of us. Pie, cupcakes, presents (well, I forgot to give them out until after...)

This group is small and powerful. It took a while for it to manifest; but I'd dreamed of it for years. It seemed so impossible, and then, it just worked out. I'm watching incredible things happening with these women, and it's so amazing to be there to support them, and to receive the support I need to. It's as if, by coming together, we're speeding up the process of whatever it is that we're going through. It's so awesome. Plus, there's usually some chocolate involved. I love it.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Art & Life are NOT one, Or Maybe They are

My house isn't painted purple, I don't wear a tutu around the house, and my car doesn't have Barbie heads glued all over...

I keep my art separate. I have two boys, and with my husband that makes three. Being the only girl, and an introvert (in a small house) makes it so that I'm more likely to retreat into my art as a means of escape. And as a way to stay connected with myself. I keep my art to myself.

Do I want my Art & Life to be one? Maybe a little more so. Maybe I might mosaic the mailbox this summer. Maybe I'll wear the burgundy velvet spaghetti strap dress around the house (over pants; I've always liked that look). Maybe I'll even have the boys paint those ancient fake-Adirondack chairs...

There's wiggle room here. To let my life speak of my art a little more, while still retaining the distance and privacy I so desperately need. Maybe the sub-heading of this blog ought to read differently. "Art & Life Are Not One at the Moment, But That Could Change".

There. Now I've got to go put on my burgundy velvet dress.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Tell It Like It Is

I've been working on getting the Technorati thing set up this morning (ALL morning, when I should have been in the studio, working like mad to get stuff ready for the July TAP show) and I have been thinking all morning as I'm trying to do this, how it goes for us. I wish it was as simple as: I go into the studio and work straight for 3 or 4 hours. But more often it's like today, where I'm sitting at the computer, and my dad calls, and I have to start the crockpot for dinner. And my little guy brings me his Ranger Rick to look at some snakes, or dung beetles, or geckos... and it's noon, and I've been interrupted so much that I feel like screaming or reaching for the closest piece of chocolate.