Friday, February 24, 2012

Pointy Pins.

Okay, let's talk about "Pinterest."

What's that? Well... "Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes."

So it is a way of bookmarking images that you find on the internet, and in an ideal world where everyone is attentive to detail, the image links back to the source. That is what (theoretically) makes it useful to the user, and to anyone else who finds their "pin." (You following this, Mom?)

But no, lots and lots of images posted on Pinterest link to Google. And art and photos are sometimes uncredited, and that sucks for everyone.

There are indeed a whole lot of folks out there who seem to be using Pinterest to plan their weddings, either actually or theoretically...also baby's rooms, and ten-billion do-it-yourself projects that, (sorry) I bet won't all see fruition...Oh, Michelle. So negative. Please keep reading.

When I first heard of Pinterest, from my BFF Jenni, my gut reaction was "potential for copyright infringement." But I discovered that it is all about how you use it, and that we all create our own filters in this world, ...and I decided pretty quickly that I am a big fan of Pinterest.

Why? Primarily because I have been a nerdy visual research archivist since I could first borrow my mom's scissors to cut up her magazines.

I like Pinterest because it is mostly pictures. And I love looking at pictures. Facebook is so much talk, you know? It is sort of quieter, in a good way. I have discovered some good things via Pinterest...blogs to my liking, artists new-to-me, gardening ideas, and yes, a few recipes. I try my darndest to track down the source, so hopefully my "pins" are helpful.

Helpful pins.

Want to see? Want to look at pretty pictures? There is a little red "pinterest" button up there, over there on the right that links to my Pinterest page.

Hope this wasn't too abstract a post. Using the internet to talk about the internet is not my favorite way to pass the time.

Now I'm thinking "coffee" and a change of record album. I'm planning on starting some sourdough bread, the first since I've been back from adventuring. (it took a while to rehabilitate my sourdough starter.) It has stopped raining for the moment, and the sun has come out, but a cold wind is currently blowing in Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

Heads Up Seven Up.

Rainy day schedule here in Spruce Pine, meaning I'm not working outside as I have been the past four days. This is springy rain, mind you. I have been listening to records, the windows are open, and I plan on doing lots of internet business this afternoon.

In my last post I visually gushed about crocuses and spring flowers. Later that day I noticed that while I was busy being enchanted by Penland's well-kept grounds, my own crocuses were struggling against all the weeds and leaves that I never cleared out from the fall.

Try harder, Michelle.
So I spent an afternoon clearing out dead weeds, ivy, and leaves while tip-toeing amongst the crocuses and on-the-way tulips.
I found this little guy while clearing out weeds. 

I wandered lonely, as a cloud...
The well-established daffodils in my back yard are fully blooming, and the ones that I planted in the fall are on their way. But good gracious, what about all that jagged brown stuff?

Japanese Knotweed is ruining everything.
I have been clearing and cutting up tons of huge, dry sticks, the remainder of the wall of Japanese Knotweed that has overtaken two edges of my backyard. I have given up hopes of clearing it completely. I do plan on keeping it under control this year, particularly in the part of the yard I am planning for a veggie garden.

...I can see it out there now, being blown over in all directions by the wind. Mocking me.

Although it was starting to rain a bit...I planted seeds today! What!? In February? I talked myself out of it yesterday, but my friend Courtney Martin said she planted some, so...

kale, lettuces, spinach, arugula, radishes

Henry and Alfred aren't sure about my spending so much time outside...

Monday, February 20, 2012

So, then...

I moved out of the printmaking studio yesterday. Bummer. It was really good for me to be working in there these past few weeks. It felt healthy to get out of the house every day, and regular interaction with people is also good for me.


The gallery opens again soon, so that's good too.

Now I am determined to get my home-studio organized and comfortable to work in. I've lived here in Spruce Pine about seven months, and although I have been working on drawing and books in that time, it has felt hesitant and awkward. My original plan had been to use our sun porch as a studio....(because it has a door and I could keep the cats out) but as it cooled off, ladybugs started moving into that space to die, (or sleep?) and then it became apparent that that space was altogether too cold for year-round use.

So my roommate has been understanding and supportive of my working in the living room...where we have a huge table, and also a separate table where we eat. (we use our dining room as a living room/library. complicated.)

So I think with a few decisive organizational strategies, and some cleverness to keep the cats away from my waxed linen thread....I think it will all work out....


So I didn't expect to go all impossible/impractical while working in the printshop, but I had so much fun cutting up prints and arranging them on this big 'ol wall. If only we lived in a world where every wall was easy to pin into.

late-night whim.
potential pink/red bits, over there...
...or not. (and better light.)
final expansion (for kicks) 
and contraction.

the end.

I have a list of things I'm going to try to get done today, so I better get out of my pajamas and get started. Thank you for checking in, and let me know what you think!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Impractical things are just more interesting.

Sad to say, I am almost out of time in the print studio. I'm going to miss going up to campus everyday... I think it's healthy to work away from your living space.  I am fortunate to have plenty of room to work at home, but I have struggled to really feel at home in my home-studio. What?

But try harder, Michelle.

Anyway, I have done a ton of printing, and the material I have accumulated will eventually take on other forms...books, certainly. And I have had so much fun revisiting my impractical tendency to pin little fragments to a big wall, and to each other. What will come of it? I don't know.

Check out my charming and talented studio mates for the past few weeks: Erica, Leslie, and Ele.

Rearrangement of bits.
Rearrangement and expansion. (The red bits have moved on.)

Pins! More Pins!
Something else, something scrappy.
Something else again, something.
Thank you for visiting!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Is 'temporariness' a word?

The snow didn't last long...
Except on these steps...
This grew yesterday. Give me a big wall, and I'll pin things all over it.
I just want to make temporary arrangements. 
Michelle, why does everything you do have to be complicated?

Mmm, translucent (wet) kitakata paper over other paper and etching plate. 

Drying leafy bits.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Delightful outside on this snowy Saturday in February. Inside the studio is more confusing than delightful. Experiencing highs and lows, and asking myself lots of questions. Like...

  1. Haven't I done this exact same thing before?
  2. Is this too precious? (pretty? boring? fussy? pink? brown?)
  3. What if I cut apart (whatever)?
  4. What if I connect (whatever) to (whatever else)?
  5. What if I sew on this?
  6. But, WHY am I sewing?
  7. Wouldn't this be impossible to photograph?
  8. Shouldn't this be huge?
  9. But also somehow tiny?
  10. Shouldn't I try to do something I've never ever done before? 

...which is usually followed again by question number one.

My work has always had some cyclical elements to it, so I guess it makes sense that I am running around in circles in my brain....I am reminded of the three-legged screaming thing....


Okay. Pictures.
had to do this; I think I still like it...
...maybe. temporary arrangement. pinned bits.


Penland's printmaking studio.

Penland's printmaking studio.
Thank you for taking a look.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Snowy day in North Carolina! It has been so very mild the past few weeks. I've been ready for this.

I was up at Penland today...I'm still renting the Printmaking studio. Distracted by the novelty of snow, I took a couple of good walks today.

Camera, thank you for your 'sweep panorama' feature.

From the meadow.

Snow on stone bench.

Snow on gravel.

Bits of grass.

Some time later it stopped snowing, but the wind picked up...

The roads around Penland got icy, so I went home earlier than planned.
Tomorrow is another day.
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