Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dot - The Smallest Stop Animation

I love miniature anything. This is so well made and Aardman is involved so that makes it even more perfect.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Music for a frosty evening...

Cassandra Wilson's beautiful rendition of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon".

It's late at night and I can hear the cold, shivery, wind howling outside my window. I am sitting in the studio burning mahogany and binding tiny books. What a perfect evening.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Toilet Paper Rolls: Homes for Extraordinary Creatures

I now have another item to obsessively horde as I optimistically envision a future full of toilet paper roll houses for tiny people.

Visit webUrbanist to see more {here}

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I am sitting here in the studio listening to Count Basie's Taxi War Dance and thinking about a conversation I had today with a very dear friend from long ago. He said something to me that rang the golden bell in my head {and I paraphrase}...the moment was just between us two and it's no one elses business. That is a major revelation to someone who feels the urge to speak every thought that comes into her head. My husband has been telling me for years {and I quote} don't have to tell me everything. I'm not sure why I am compelled to discuss every thought traveling through my brain to any one who will listen but methinks that I am warming to the idea of having secret pockets that no one else can peer into.

This revelation coincides with a piece of advice that Chris gave me yesterday and that is "Be present in the moment. Enjoy every second of who you are with and what you are doing." Good advice.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lunch with Lesley's gang & a yummy new treat!

I recently tried beet root hummus for the first time and i LOVE it! Here is how to make it.

* 1/2 pound beets (about 4 medium sized beets),
scrubbed clean, cooked, peeled, and cubed*
* 2 Tbsp tahini sesame seed paste
* 5 Tbsp lemon juice
* 1 small clove garlic, chopped
* 1 Tbsp ground cumin
* 1 Tbsp lemon zest (zest from approx. 2 lemons)
* Generous pinch of sea salt or Kosher salt
* Fresh ground pepper to taste

*To cook the beets, cut off any tops, scrub the roots clean, put them in a covered dish with about 1/4-inch of water in a 375°F oven, and cook until easily penetrated with a knife or fork. Alternatively, cover with water in a saucepan and simmer until tender, about 1/2 hour. Peel once they have cooled.

Place all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients as desired.

Chill and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.

Makes 2 cups.

Friday, July 9, 2010

For Angela...

Werner Herzog narrates this tale of plastic and it's search for the answer to one question: why do I exist? hmmmm...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Movie Madness

What I did the three days following Shakerag...recliner, Netflix, cookies...a brief rundown

Day 1
The September Issue
Every Little Step
New York, I Love You

The September Issue is about Anna Wintour and her reign at whatever magazine she runs (I really don't it Vogue...yes, it is Vogue). I recommend this film just so that you can study the various facial expressions of Ms. Wintour. They range from bored to pissed to very bored indeed. She reminds me of a woman I used to work for who called me into her office one morning to order me to empty her filing cabinets onto the floor and reorganize everything...but wait, she wanted me to do all of this while her assistant watched so that the poor crying assistant could learn how to file correctly. Compared to that experience, this film is quite a treat. I'm kidding of course. Definitely watch to see Grace Coddington doin her thing. She is amazing.

Every Little Step follows the ups and downs of auditioning for A Chorus Line on Broadway. Hmmm, a film about auditioning for a musical about...auditioning for a musical. It was okay but don't put it at the top of your netflix list. The most entertaining part was watching Tyce Diorio go on a crazy rant after being rejected. Tee brought me joy.

New York, I Love You...but the film was meh. One segment stands out in my memory and that is the one with Shia LeBeouf and Julie Christie (who I adore). I can't
explain why it stands out except that I liked the music, the violets, the white curtains and the potentiality of a May December romance.

Day 2
Sisters or the Balance of Happiness
Antonia's Line
Disco Pigs

Two films that made me cry when I didn't expect to (Sisters and Antonia's Line) and two that wanted to make me cry (Disco Pigs and Rosenstrasse) but didn't realize how tough skinned I'd become watching the previous two.

Sisters or the Balance of Happiness (Schwestern oder die Balance des Glucks) is about the extreme codependency between two sisters. We come in to the lives of the two sisters as one cares for the other during her apparent psychological breakdown. We soon learn that other factors were at play all along as the story acts itself out through a third person. I'm afraid to give too much away, but stream it this weekend, you won't regret it.

Antonia's Line is a quirky film about the family in a Dutch village after WWII. I found it hilarious and sweet with the occasional interruption of tragedy. Very nice.

Disco Pigs is an Irish film about two kids who have an unusually strong bond and the destruction that occurs when they are forced apart. Be prepared for blood and violence. There is nothing light or funny about this film and I did on occasion have that "holy hell" look on my face but I loved Cillian Murphy's performance so I kept on a'watchin.

Finally, Rosenstrasse is about the lives of the non-Jewish spouses of Jewish prisoners in Germany toward the end of WWII. The dichotomy between the women and the prison is amazing to watch and of course I loved the film but as Netflix is CONSTANTLY recommending films about women and WWII to me it will eventually become lost in the sea of strife that is the "Emotional Foreign Dramas with Strong Female Leads" section of my Netflix mind.

Day 3
We Live In Public
Paper Heart

We Live in Public chronicles a decade in the life of Internet pioneer Josh Harris, who instigated an "artificial society" experiment in which more than 100 artists lived under 24-hour surveillance in an underground compound in New York City. After FEMA broke up the project, Harris turned the cameras on himself and his girlfriend.[Netflix] This documentary grossed me out, made me paranoid, and prompted a personal purge of all social networking tools. That is why you don't see me on Facebook any more. You have to get through a lot of being totally disgusted by Mr. Harris to figure out in the end what role you are currently playing in his drama. Beware.

Paper Heart, Paper Heart, how I love thee Paper Heart. This is a scripted documentary by Charlyne Yi where she hits the road looking for the definition of love. It was definitely a welcome break and turned out to be incredibly sweet AND entertaining! Yi is so cute and fun to watch. Even if her awkwardness is a put on, I don't care...I love it.

Peter Madden you are all DYING to know WHO I will be assisting next year at Shakerag and how you can sign up for the workshop? Well, it looks like I will be assisting Peter Madden the first week of Shakerag 2011. Peter specializes in one-of-a-kind artist’s books, printmaking, and alternative photography. He offers courses and workshops in book arts; Polaroid and photo imaging on stone, fabric, and wood; cyanotype; letterpress; and papermaking. You can register for his class by contacting Shakerag {here}. Hope to see you next year!


I am back from Shakerag where I assisted Daniel Essig in his workshop Wooden Covers-Mica Pages. As usual, lots of great people and fantastic food. This year I was overjoyed to find Rachel Malde and Kate Clarke in the class. Rachel is a sensitive and elegant photographer as well as a kind person {see her work here}. Kate is a recent art school grad whose clay work is  whimsical and contains a certain kind of magic that imagines teatime with the royalty of Ireland's elven community.  This year's staff show was nicely curated by Angela Berry in a small gallery space across from the main gallery.  I had two long stitch leather journals in the show {just testing to see if I would like long stitch}. here they are:

Dan's workshop was great. He had the week planned perfectly, I didn't have to wait too long for the class to move on to the next step, I always had something to do, and I think I have finally figured out the right amount of tension for coptic binding. We did the same Ethiopian headband and endband that Shanna Leino taught last year but this time around it finally clicked with me.  Some of the things he covered: cutting mica and making mica covers, filing and carving into wooden covers, milk paint and how to layer it and distress it, waxing wooden covers, making mica pages, sewing onto wooden covers, and making your own wooden pegs and leather enclosures. The unexpected tutorial: how to mix a strong cocktail and, in my case, how to dispose of said cocktail when the mixer is not looking.  here are the books I made in the workshop:

Please visit Dan's website {here} to see his sculptural books and find out where you can go to take a workshop with him. He is an interesting person and a laid back guy who really knows his craft. Dan offers private workshops at Bookstone Bungalow & Studios in Ashville, NC. Go {here} for more information.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Esperanza Spalding on ACL

Esperanza Spalding AND Madeline Peyroux on the same show on the same night! What a wonderful way to spend a rainy Tuesday, watching the much anticipated recording of two of my favorite singers being beautiful and talented on ACL's stage. Esperanza is one artist I never ever ever get tired of listening to. She puts on a great show here, most especially her rendition of Nina Simone's "Wild is the Wind". Please check out the video above, it's not from the ACL show but an equally good recording of the same song. I can't tell you how she has endeared herself to me through this one song.

Madeline Peyroux has such a great sense of humor and I love love love the accordion player in her band. and he loves loves loves his accordion. {he's fun to watch} There were plenty of happy smiles at my house listening to Madeline and lots of solo waltzing going on. She is quite a bit folkier than most singers under the jazz genre. In fact, I think folk > jazz = Madeline. I have to admit that Esperanza stole the show for me. Bottom line: this will be one more tivo recording that I will not allow Chris to delete for the rest of eternity.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More GREAT Docs

Young at Heart is a group of seniors that sing contemporary songs with wonderful humor and dedication. The group rehearses year round, participates in all kinds of outside activities together, and perform all over the world. The documentarian hangs out with the group during the rehearsals for their upcoming season and intersperses geriatric rock videos with some great personal interviews. This is the the most fun I have had watching a doc ever. Here is a brief sample of their set list: I Want to Be Sedated, Golden Years, Fix You, and their take on Road to Nowhere is ggggggggggreat! Don't let me mislead you though, as with most docs that are about human relationships, there are some incredibly powerful moments in this piece. My question after watching: "God, why can't we human beings just try to bring happiness to each other all of the time? What would it hurt?"


An hour of watching people fold paper couldn't be more interesting. I know that's not saying much (hehe) but this was an eye opening exploration of two dimensional converted to three dimensional space covering theory, history, and potential future applications of origami.


Powerful doc on prostitution, human trafficking, and youth sexual exploitation. WARNING: THERE WILL BE MOMENTS THAT YOU WILL WANT TO PUNCH YOUR TV IN THE FACE. My advice: don't take it out on your tv, that's not going to help anybody. The doc has segments of home video filmed by pimps on the lookout for new girls, a mother trying to get police cooperation to bring her child home, police footage of a mandatory "john" rehabilitation meeting, interviews and footage from GEMS girls, and interviews with GEMS staffers and founders. This is a take me as I am doc and doesn't pander to the overtly dramatic. In other words the doc is about information, awareness, and dignity not about raising money. Check it out, you may find that you are compelled to take action, do it in a positive way (I know it's tempting but no vigilante justice, k?)

I am in the process of starting a mentoring program at a church in Nashville. I will be working with pre-teen girls starting at age 11. I have been thinking about the possibility of starting this program since last spring when I realized that the little girls in my dance and drama group (volunteer project I started in 2005 at the same church) were not little girls anymore. Through my skills at eavesdropping, I learned that they were dealing with some significant life choices and they were looking to each other for guidance and answers.  The church had a church polity based program for pre teens, but the current class was boys only with a male teacher/mentor So I talked to the pastor and we started making plans for a mentoring program for pre-teen girls that focuses on the issues they are facing today. That brings me to the doc A Girl's Life. It isn't super deep, but there are a number of "hmmm" moments in there that I found inspiring. The documentarian hits the tip of the iceberg on body issues, advertising that targets and builds up the insecurities of children, and the historically low prioritizing of girls educational, social and emotional development in general.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Ghost With One Black Eye

The Ghost With One Black Eye from mcqjenk on Vimeo.

a really simple animation I did for my niece for Halloween.

Amy Winfrey

I know this is old news and I have probably shown you all this lady before. I am just reminding you of how cute Amy Winfrey's Muffin Films and Making Fiends animations are. Here is a sample of one of the muffin films. Check out her website when you get a chance.