Thursday, July 30, 2009


This is my all-time favorite fancy North Carolina moth.

This moth fell in love with my circle template, because they have a lot in common.



My friend Loring and I like to play a game called "I hit you with a brass rod." Here are our feet during a demo.

Fabulous downtown Spruce Pine, where I had some amazing non-Penland-dining-hall pizza.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

unexpected penland things.

oh, hello.

The above quote is something I've heard my Dad say, and I was delighted to meet it again on the chalkboard in the dining hall.

Last night was a themed party. I spent the better part of yesterday making these snappy poinsettia brooches for the "office-christmas-party." Silly-good fun.

Yesterday after dinner I went "off the mountain" with my friend Wes for milkshakes and (rather unexpectedly) classic cars. It was a welcome change of scenery.

Its incredible that I will be here another two whole weeks. Time is funny.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

better better better better....

For well you know that its a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This is where I am.

and these are my feet, and this was taken with my new digital camera.

all is well on the mountain; we're just getting started, although I've been here since Friday morning. The journey here from LA was sort of hellish, but on my connection from Atlanta to Asheville, I heard a familiar voice say, "Michelle?" from across the aisle. My very dear ol' friend Freya, whom I know from 2003, had been on a similarly hellish red-eye from San Francisco. Both of us barely conscious, and a happy and unexpected reunion of two west coast girls en route to Penland.

You see? Old friends do sometimes find each other again unexpectedly. And all is well, all over the place.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michelle's Seattle Picture Show.

In Seattle I decided that I prefer the term "picture show" to "slide talk," or "artist lecture."

"Slide talk" doesn't work because I wasn't showing slides, and a "talk" sounds so I'm giving people "a good talking-to"...

...and "artist lecture" suggests, (in my mind) a stuffy three-part research-y song-and-dance about some white-haired gentleman who made paintings in France long before I was born.

So I started referring to my presentation at the Kirkland Art Center as a "picture show." My inarticulate rambling was held together by about 150 pictures, and I'm guessing less than half of them were images of my work. We traveled through time and space. I talked about Muppets, pepper-grinders, Googie architecture, wisdom teeth, the Winchester Mystery House, my grandmother's kitchen floor, typewriters, spinning yarn, star trek, gardening in outer space, was fun. I think they liked it. I was proud of myself.

Here are some pictures from Seattle:

This is Myra Kaha, the Educational Director at the Kirkland Art Center. We were in line for some sorely needed coffee. I know Myra from our grad school days in West Virginia. She made things out of clay, and was one of my favorite people to complain to.

We went up in the space needle. Myra was afraid, which amused me.

Here is evidence of how amazingly organized I was for the two-day book workshop I taught at the Kirkland Art Center. It went well, although I overestimated how much we could do in the time we had.

Myra and I went to an opening at Pottery Northwest, and I made a new friend, Tammie Rubin. Tammie is in the green shirt, her art is dangling overhead, and Myra is in the brown shirt with her back to us.

Here are my feet at rest, in the very comfortable garden spot at Pottery Northwest.

It stayed light really late.

Here's one of my favorite moments of the trip: after the workshop ended, but before my picture show. I am enjoying a PBR and teriyaki beef, and moving images around on my computer.

That night when I was finally done with everything, Myra and I went out to her very best friend's house, and we had a pleasant evening in a real Seattle backyard. Its strange how many connections I share with my new friend, Kristin Swenson-Lintault. Besides knowing Myra, she has also been participating in Art House projects, AND weirdest of all, she went to Murray State back in the day.

The art world is NOT so big.

So Seattle was great fun.

...and I'm on the run again. Getting ready to head to Penland, and then Atlanta. I have closed my etsy shop for now, but I will be back in business in September.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I'm home from Seattle, and it was an exhausting trip. My workshop and "picture show" (artist lecture) went well, and I had a good time with my pal Myra Kaha. I met good people and a weird cat.

And Seattle is very cool.

Hold tight for a full report. I'm already packing for PENLAND, which is next on my crazy summer tour. But I am changing gears now from workshop-teaching to workshop-taking. yay!

Trying to decide which typewriter is escorting me back east. I'm thinking my pretty lil' baby hermes...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pictures from the Surface Workshop

Some pictures from my bookbinding adventures in Bakersfield:

Intense counting.

Intense overalls.

Intense drilling.

Happy ones.

The good ladies of Surface Gallery, whom I am very glad to know. Oh yeah, they took these photos.

Off to Seattle in the morning!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Busy and Travel-y.

photo courtesy of the lovely and talented liz sherwyn

July? What? What happened to June? Where am I?

Here are some stories:

Last Thursday I drove up to Visalia as a chaperone to the awesome young ladies of Bethel 43, Los Angeles, Job's Daughters International. What's this? What is Michelle talking about? Job's Daughters is a youth organization for girls age 10-20, affiliated with the Masonic Fraternity. I was involved when I was little tiny Michelle, (California Bethel 244 and Kentucky Bethel 9) and am now delighted to be an adult volunteer. It was an exhausting and HOT couple of days in Visalia. This was California's state-wide convention or "Grand Bethel." Imagine hundreds of girls in fancy dresses singing "don't stop believin'" a cappella. Noisy charm bracelets and lots of stuffed animals waving in the air. Yeah, its pretty much awesome.

So I left Visalia Saturday morning and headed south to Bakersfield, which I'm fairly sure was hotter than Visalia. I taught a two-day bookbinding workshop at Surface Gallery, where I had an exhibition in March. Besides the bookbinding, I spent time with some really great people. There are really really great people in Bakersfield, and I'll have words with any person who says otherwise. I slept on a couch "like a cloud", there was badminton and scrabble, good art, good tea, good honey, good wine, a good dog, birthday cake.

I love Bakersfield.

Now I'm home, and I'm in preparation mode for my next adventure, which is another bookbinding workshop I'm teaching...soon. This time in Washington at the Kirkland Art Center. I get to see my ol' WVU pal Myra Kaha, and this will be my first visit to Washington state. I'm excited.

So the next few days I'll be measuring, cutting, tearing, counting, counting again....

Happy July, everyone-everywhere, all over the place.
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