Kansas City

Left side: images from my installation.  Right Side: images from around KC

This weekend was a great experience, and I can't wait to share some photos from my finished installation at Plug Projects.  The Plug crew was incredibly hospitable and kind, and they were great to work with.  I was blown away by the talent of the other artists in the exhibition, and feel honored to show alongside them.  Not to mention, we had a lot of fun while we were hanging out - great people!

If you are in the Kansas City area over the next 6 weeks, I encourage you to stop by the Plug Projects gallery to see all of the artwork in Rare Earth.  I will work on processing my installation images and post them on Wednesday.

New Decomposition Installation + Weekend Away

This weekend my husband and I rented a cabin down in Broken Bow, Oklahoma (the southeastern part of the state) just to get away for a few days and enjoy being out in nature.  We planned the trip over a month ago, and since that time I've been busy working on these pieces for my fifth installation for the Decomposition series.  You might recognize them from the 52 Forms of Fungi project, since I made a couple to use as form number 5.  Check back later this week to see the installation--- I'm really happy with how it turned out and can't wait to share it with you!  In the meantime, here are a few more photos from the weekend.  You'd better believe I'll have posts out the wazoo (do people still say that?) depicting all of the awesome fungi and things that we spotted while hiking.

... and Emma got to come too.


Holga || Roll 1

I bought a Holga toy camera with Christmas money a couple of years back, and finally just got around to having the first roll of film I used with it developed.  I'm used to 35 mm, but the camera I bought uses 120 film.  To be honest, I wasn't sure how these were going to turn out because after a certain point the numbers do not seem to be showing up correctly as you wind through the film - it seems like I remember them starting to count backward at some point?  Anyway, it was exciting to get these images back and see the imperfections created by my well meaning ignorance of the thing, in addition to the characteristic light leaks, etc.
Most of these images are from our trip to Marfa, TX and Big Bend National Park in February 2011.  I played around with double exposure a little bit, which you can see in a couple of the beginning photos. The frames are off on the majority of these (well meaning film winding ignorance), but I think I like it.  It gives some of the photos (such as the one below) a bit of an "opposites" contrast.  The very last photo is from the condo we stayed in for our honeymoon in Costa Rica... I think I changed the film after taking that one.  Now I need to finish the current roll so I can see what kind of quirks/character the frames from that trip will have!
Do you use toy cameras?  I'm interested in trying out other kinds; let me know if you have a recommendation for what I should get next!
On another note, I miss the desert.  Looking over these REALLY makes me want to go visit south Texas again.


Spring, Spring, Spring!

Photo credit for 2nd photo down on the left side: @lauraleaf on Instagram
Here are a few shots from over the past few weeks.  Work has been super busy for me recently, with Arbor Week coming up.  I've just been trying to get in as much knitting as I can when I'm home, between getting back into my exercise routine and fighting off some intense allergy issues.  The past few days we've seen buds opening up and trees are starting to bloom and leaf out.  The weather has been warmer too, so I've been taking the pup on much longer walks and it's amazing how much my spirits are lifted by the new hints of green and short sleeve weather.  I'm itching to repot some plants and overhaul the compost pile... maybe this weekend.  Happy Spring, friends!  And here's to an extra hour of evening sunshine!  (unless you're in Arizona... in which case... happy spring!!)

Big Things Are Happening

I had hoped this morning to show you the final product of a project I have worked on for nearly a year, but I still need to do a little photo processing.... so maybe it will be up here later this week!

Another milestone is in the works and I will be able to share more about that next week sometime.  It's very exciting, slightly daunting, and it's definitely something that I'm proud of myself for following through on.  This past year has been a wild roller coaster of new things and stepping into a world that I've always only felt like an outsider of.  Here's to pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone!


Life in Photos || January

This is just a little bit of this past month.  We are in the process of getting some new neighbors (fingers crossed that they are tame) and we're looking forward to a quick trip to Austin in a few weeks to visit some friends.  It will be a weekend jam packed with reunions, food (one of the things I miss most about that place), margaritas, and enjoying the oddness that is Austin.  It's been over two years since we were there last, and I'm sure I'll be shocked and awed by how much it has changed.  Nonetheless, I'm excited!

On Regret...

I was thinking on this topic during my quiet early morning hours and felt compelled to share my perspective.  I know this is delving a little deeper into my philosophies than my usual posts, so if you aren't interested in reading through my musings, feel free to scroll on down.  :)

By nature, I for years have chastised myself for missteps, misgivings and really anything that I later viewed as something that could have been taken the wrong way, that could have had the slight possibility of shedding a negative light on me or that just did not turn out how I wanted it to, no matter how small and insignificant.  It took me pretty much until my adult life to convince myself that I am not the things that I do/have done.  That they do not define who I am.  Furthermore, there is no wrong decision once it's all said and done.  Yes, you can choose a path that is more fortuitous to you -- one that will make you more successful, possibly more content, and that would leave fewer people hurt in the end.  But once you are on that lower road... and you can't take any of it back, there is no benefit to despair or thoughts of "if I had done things differently..."  At that moment, it is finished.  It is sealed.  At that moment, all you can do is know that you are exactly where you are meant to be, because there is no turning back.  All you can do is be confident in that, listen to your discernment, and move forward.  It will all be okay in the end.  As long as you pursue what you are certain to be true and right, as long as you strive to fulfill your purpose and seek after the deepest desires of your heart, you will be on your right path.

And in all of this, you have to BE KIND TO YOURSELF.  (I really struggled with this one.  That is how the Mantra scarf was born).  Don't torture yourself over things you can't change.  Show yourself some grace.  This is not to say that we should not take responsibility for our actions; I am merely stating that dwelling on them does no good for anyone.  Do what you can to make it right, then forgive yourself and move on.

There is no need for regret.  It is a poison that spoils talent, potential, passions and fulfillment.  Your possibilities are limitless.  GO.


Sometimes You've Just Gotta Get Out

The winter months are hard sometimes, because the days are short and the weather isn't always so pleasant - all I really want is for it still to be daylight by the time I get home from work and to have a comfortable body temperature when I'm wearing my coat outside (it's not always the case).  The past couple of weeks have been odd, because we've had weather in the 60's one day, 40's the next day, another few days of 50's, 60's, and tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 30's again.... then back up to the 50's.  Last weekend the warmth for once stuck around for our days off, so we got outside to appease the ongoing cabin fever.  And man... I feel so much better!  Is it just me, or is anyone else ready for spring?!

Greenhouse Blues

I've dreamt for as long as I can remember of constructing my very own greenhouse, curating it with the most intriguing and exotic of plants and, of course, managing to keep them all alive.  That day has yet to come, but every fall when the mornings get a little more crisp and my bare arms tingle in call of a sweater I realize.... pretty soon the jungle on my front porch will have to come indoors.  This is when the longing for a greenhouse stabs me the most, but as a renter I must concede and bring my plants into the living room where they will face such adversaries as low light, dry hot air, my ever improving sense of how much to water an indoor plant, and perhaps the most fierce and fearful.... the cat.
My houseplant skills have gotten much better over the years, and I actually have a pretty great little chorus of plants going in the living room.  The cat seems to be losing interest with age, or maybe its just that as he grows older he becomes less sprightly and more like a cat... lazy and apathetic.  Either way works for me.
This year when the flora was brought inside we added some air plants to the mix, hung across the ridiculous expanse of a doorway that separates (if you would call it that) the living room from the dining room.  I guess poorly laid out floor plans are good for something, after all.  I am excited to share the air plants with you in just a few days time...
As I tend my leafy friends this winter they will serve as a reminder of what we hope to achieve in the coming year, just contributing for my overwhelming need for a garden.  With a garden, even a greenhouse can wait.


Sacramento By IPhone

I recently visited Sacramento for a few days to attend a conference.  In my down time, I made a point to walk around and explore the downtown area, and found a lot of beauty there.  I will post some more photos from my DSLR in a few days, but in the meantime here are some things I saw and shot with my phone camera using the Instagram app.  Sacramento is known as the "City of Trees" and they really do have some nice trees.  Make note of the blue ones below - I'm going to put together a post about that project soon as well.


Photos from Portland

There was one last location on our trip that I have yet to post photos from.  I didn't take quite as many in Portland as I did elsewhere, but I think there are still some that warrant sharing.  This is definitely my kind of town...  the nature shots are mostly from the Hoyt Arboretum.  We stayed at the Jupiter Hotel which is where the room photos came from, and the others are just some random things from around town.  The last photo isn't from Portland, but since I didn't write a post on the wedding we went to it got skipped over.  It's a great photo of Jason and I though and I wanted to share it (because that doesn't come along very often).


















Time to Go Home

Last night I slept in the mist amongst a graveyard of cedar trees, a mere 100 yards from the ocean. It smelled of burning cedar logs on the campfire and sounded like crashing waves.Earlier in the day, we ate smoked mussels and clam chowder, and then embarked on a hike into a temperate, fern covered forest to find the perfect spot for Phase I of my Decomposition fiber art installations. I can't remember the last time I felt this creatively fulfilled. (Photos to come upon our return home). The previous night: we joined with friends old and new and enjoyed great food and conversation. Even away from home we have found great community and bonded with New friends who also reside in Oklahoma. Earlier that day: wandering around Portland (lost, but we got to see a lot of it that way), visited and purchased from the kingdom of books (Powell's) and hiked at Hoyt Arboretum beneath redwoods, spruces, firs and giant sequoias. Might have snagged some spongy sequoia bark to take home... Along with some street side succulents bits that afternoon... All this since in Portland. Since I last posted we geeked out in the towns where Twin Peaks and Northern Exposure were filmed in WA. Snoqualmie (Twin Peaks) was really developed and had very little of the character left in it (what can you expect after 20 years). Roslyn, however, (Northern Exposure) is still very remote, quaint, quiet and AMAZING. We hung out in town for a bit and then headed out to the river where we pitched our tent 10 feet from the bank, shared a bottle of wine, watched a beaver swimming around and saw the most beautiful night sky. The wedding in Oregon was in and of itself a blast, and it was set in a gorgeous landscape - a meadow atop a mountain with forest all around. I had a blast seeing one of my best friends marry a beautiful, amazing woman and the reception was one of the most fun I've been to, to date. Overall, we love it here. I'm ready to see my critters at home and be in my house, but we have loved every moment of this trip. Enough blabbing now, here are some Instagram photos from the past week. Sorry again for the size and quality, I'll prepare a series of photo posts from the shots I took with my camera after we are home


Kansas City

We visited Kansas City this weekend for a friend's wedding, and I have to say the city is way more interesting (and beautiful) than I had anticipated.  I've only been there once before, which was for a soccer tournament when I was 11.  I can't remember much, and I think the tournament was in Overland Park so I doubt we actually even went into the downtown area. We had a great time exploring - the architecture is beautiful, the culture is unique and I've never felt safer walking around any City's downtown at night as I did there.  We're already looking forward to our next visit, and can hopefully spend a little more time exploring.

The last two photos are of some items I purchased from Hammerpress, an amazing letterpress and design studio.  I fell in love with the shop upon walking in, and basically squealed with glee when I found Woodcut out on display.  If you remember this post about Bryan Nash Gill's prints using tree cross sections, you understand my excitement.  Now I have my own copy of the book (happy early birthday to me!).  I can't wait to go through all of it!