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Crayon Gems

13 Jul

When it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk– make some crayons instead!



Magic Wands

3 May

IMG_0858 IMG_0859Here we have 5 magic wands. We made these from Amy Karol’s workshop on Creative Bug. It took 3 weeks, or something crazy, to complete. A week of gathering materials, on my part. A day of making the newspaper wand form, with magical incantations included. Roughly soon after, we did the fun part of papier maché gluing which went fairly well, as we did it outside. The 3 year-old boy we watch was so busy collecting bugs, I made his wand form for him. It was probably a week later that we painted the wands. Sue and I covered them with a Mod Podge finish later that night. We were on vacation for a week, and when we got back, we finally finished the wands with jewels, feathers, and ribbons.  The kids were great about doing the project in parts. They didn’t lose interest, or bug me about finishing them up. From left to right here, we have the All-Purpose Magic Wand, the Non-Whapping Wand (for the 17-month old boy), the Super Sweet wand (yes, that would be my mom wand), the Frozen Wand, and the Cinderella Wand. Time to start making some magic!

Reading Photography

7 Mar

I got this big ol’ photography book, Women, for my birthday in December.

IMG_2958I’ve always enjoyed Annie Leibovitz’s photos, walking through the grocery store, I would look at all the stars on the cover of Vanity Fair, staggered and staged in those decadent spreads. The subject of these collected photographs is, well, women, with an essay by Susan Sontag. Women was published in 1999 and has a lot of stars, with photographs of some regular folk, as well. I am guessing it’s a selection of photos from Leibovitz’s magazine work, along with some personal work. The sixth image you see in this book is of a random woman at a public restroom; I have a feeling no one commissioned her portrait. There are a few other photos, of two sisters, and their children, at a gas station, that I assume are also happenstance. I would love to see more happenstance portraits by Leibovitz, but the fact is that she photographs stars, athletes, musicians, performers, writers, and politicians for a living, you know, people of interest, so that’s what is mostly featured in this selection. Leibovitz’s subjects always have a dignified austerity to them, a composure, and a grandiosity of figure. I wonder if it is in their professional nature, I mean, stars take classes on how to pose for pictures, right? But then you see this austerity and grandiosity in non-assuming portraits too, like this one

Karen Fedrau, Farmer, Fedrau Famil Farm, Newcastle, California

Karen Fedrau, Farmer, Fedrau Famil Farm, Newcastle, California

I am sure Karen never took a class on how to pose for a photograph. It must be Annie Leibovitz then. I want her to take my portrait. How would I look?

I love this “portrait” she did of Cindy Sherman. So fitting for an artist who works in disguise. Guess which one is Sherman…Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 2.01.32 PM

Another photography read I made recently was the Aperture 211 Summer 2013 edition. It’s such a pretty publication, all big, and smooth, and chock full of interesting photo news. If you’ve never gotten your hands on one, you should. I discovered Robert Cumming, an unknown artist dude from the seventies who happens to have taken some ingenious and fantastic images. Here are two you might like:


Watermelon/Bread, 1970, Robert Cumming


Institutional Faucet, 1971, Robert Cumming

Beginning Bookmaking at Carolina Learning Connection– Register Now!

29 Jan


Do you journal or make lists? Looking for handmade gifts to give? Ever want to start your own hand-bound ‘zine? Learn the basics of bookmaking with an artful approach. This class will teach proper bookmaking techniques such as paper folding, basic bindings, and variations for covers. This class will provide time for you to make several hand-bound journals. A small supply list will be provided upon registration, so that you may have supplies to continue bookmaking after this class is over. A number of hand-outs will be provided covering topics such as,  instructions covered in class, an online and local resource guide, inspiration, and bookmaking titles to check out.

Taught by Molly Wilbanks at Carolina Learning Connection (click here to register).

Cost: $34

Location: 2311 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28203 : CLC Room 1

Date: Monday February 3rd, 6:30-9:30pm


Wasteland, the film

13 Jan

“Wasteland”, by Lucy Walker, is a film about the artist Vic Muniz.Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 5.22.22 PMIf you don’t know Muniz, you should. His artwork is magical and whimsical in the most beautiful way. I have always loved his work, and was happy to see the portraits that are featured in this film, at The Mint, here in Charlotte. I didn’t know he was also a humanitarian until I saw this feature. I do love a good artist who also happens to care about people. That Muniz could also contribute something so great (a large sum of money) back to those whom he photographed is awesome; not everyone can do that. I am so glad that there are people who realize how incredible Vic Muniz’s work is, and are willing to spend a lot of dollars on it.

This film shows the making of the portraits, from selecting the subjects, to photographing them, to the real work of art, re-creating the image, with trash. These images are huge, they take up a whole warehouse floor, Muniz must climb up some really tall scaffolding to view, direct, and photograph the works. The process is quite something to watch. waste-land-2

I found this film fascinating, as I spend more time than I would like to admit thinking about the refuse of daily life, it’s hard not to when we live in a consumerism culture. Something has to happen to those things when they are not wanted anymore and so, because we live in a consumerism culture, we also live in a wasteful culture. What happens to all that waste? Well if you’re lucky, like five people in Brazil were, it becomes a work of art, and then changes your life forever.

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