Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some thoughts.

Ever notice that first big sleep after a night of bad sleep - dreams are vivid and carry one with you the next day?

I have this mish mash in my brain this morning of strange dreams last night. Like being "forced" to go to Mars Hill (mash up of talking about going to an Easter service in Ireland, and the Mars Hill coverage debating the existence of Satan) - and then my Dad was there and he decided he wanted to be baptized again - and, wearing this teeny tiny towel (so you could see his frail body) he was walking around, full of life and energy and excited to be baptized. My Mom was like, "He's 80. He can do what he wants!"

I had other dreams last night and they are more fragmented. I could remember them this morning, but now that I'm ready to write them down, they're gone.

I've been thinking lately that I need to write more. I like my new Urban Ubiety blog, but now that I've found a focus, I have a small case of writer's block over there. So in the mean time, I am going to keep writing my random thoughts over here. After all, that's why I named this blog what I did... because it's an "other" place to write, process, discuss. I don't really need to post links to things here - I can do that so easily now on FB. So this can be more about me rambling than anything else.

I miss it. I know I miss it because my comments on other blogs lately have been lengthy. Like I know I shouldn't even be commenting, I should be linking to their post and writing my own version of the story.

I have a fancy smancy new Nikon D40. Finally! A DSLR. Of course, just because I know I can learn how to use it and make magic with it, doesn't mean I have it down yet. But thanks to fabulous friends - I'm going to read about it on my plane trip to Ireland and I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that enough clicks that I can capture what I want to. I don't need to come back as an award winning photographer. I just want to capture what I know I can - and get my eyes some practice.

I do hope to be able to have at least one "good" shot that I can make into art. My "prints on canvas" pieces are my favorite. I love that I know, for a fact, that I'm the only person in the world with them. They're something I helped to create. Customized. I have a hunch that it'll be something I take in Dublin - mostly because my condo is so "urban" and the art so far is very urban. Although I can make anything appropriate with a little editing.

I think I might need to get some good photo editing software one of these days.

One of those "social media" gems I've been enjoying lately is seeing friends' creativity. I love seeing how many people on facebook have blogs and flickr accounts and bands playing gigs and recording - friends who are really channeling their creative muses. It isn't even about success - but just seeing the process - the desire has been fantastic to witness.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


You know those moments where you mishear someone and it provides comedy? Classic example (that actually happened):

Carter and I were young - maybe 6th and 7th grade? We were with some friends at Shari's (your typical chain diner). As we ordered food, the waitress asked, "Soup or salad?" Someone said, "yes." Oh, I thought you said super salad.

Last night, while out at the bar, I recognized this woman who had delivered some brochures last week. She's unusual looking, and actually had a really awkward vibe about her - so she was memorable. I was giving her that look of recognition, so I cleared the air by just asking her if she was in my work recently delivering said brochures.

"Yes. That's me. Where is your business?"

To which I replied, "It's good."

Everyone I was with cocked their head to the side and raised their eyebrows. Oh! Where is my business! I thought she said, "How's business?"

I think misunderstandings like that may be one of my favorite forms of humor.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Best sign of the rally

Best sign of the rally
Originally uploaded by JeepersPeepers

S. took this and I love it! Yay for LOLCats influencing political signage!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

more amazing art.

i'm head over heels for ninjagrl's pixel ninja's!

You can browse through the whole series here. You can purchase prints of them for only $20 here.

I think her paintings are also magical.

You can find (and purchase) more of her artwork here.

Looking for some new housewares?

Many of you probably know that etsy is one of my favorite websites. It's a fantastic way to find unique, handmade goods. I was thinking recently that it would be fun to have some really unique coffee mugs/tea cups. You know, why bother with generic Starbucks mugs? They have cute things, but you're just supporting the man and you're NOT exactly making a statement.

I browsed and came across Urban Soule's Etsy store. I love her Obama print:

I adore her other art as well:

But what really interested me is her custom housewares!!! Seriously, these are awesome:

She has some other amazing things (not all skulls) on her website.

Dig around a little to find some cool cream and sugar sets! I love the simplicity of it. And she'll make them custom for you!

Flies On The Wall.

Flies On The Wall.
Originally uploaded by Umbra98

These flies are from stencils on a wall near my work. I have been looking at them for a long time, so I decided to snap a shot and play.

Birds on a Wire Mural - White on Gray

Birds on a Wire Mural - White on Gray
Originally uploaded by Umbra98

This also means I get to post some of my "own work" - I'm thinking about getting this on canvas and having it in my bathroom. Picture it on an orange wall! :-)

The future of this space...

I am always questioning what themes I have in this here blog and what motivates me to post. Sometimes it takes an outside observation to get a good perspective on things like this. S has noticed that I post things that are often very visual. I have also been following more and more blogs that showcase art and design. So, while I still reserve the right to post about whatever I damn well please, I'm going to try to focus a little more on design. Things I see that are inspiring. Furniture, art, comics, etc - it's all fair game.

I'm going to start by sharing some amazingly well designed "Get Out The Vote" posters.

You can find more here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A beautiful, smart woman...

who I am honored to know and consider a dear friend, turns 33 today!


cheers friends on.

is wicked smart.

understands love in its many varied forms.

shows gratitude.

gets "sibling" relationships.

has incredible faith.

lights up the room when she walks in.

nourishes community.

challenges herself and those around her.

follows politics and voices her opinion fearlessly.


knows herself.

has great taste in music.

loves NOLA.

appreciates beauty in things.

is strong.

is humble.

is beautiful!


Happy Birthday S.! So happy to have you in my life!

Monday, September 22, 2008

On Image Manipulation, Creative Integrity, and the age old question...

Is anything truly original?

I've been editing photos lately and having a lot of fun doing so. It's oddly therapeutic and addictive. My visual world is becoming more and more important to me. Design and meaning behind design are constantly on my mind.

But as I play with images, I start to question what is mine. What did I create?

For example, my heel clicks image from a few days ago, was from a photo I took in Vancouver. It was from a poster. I didn't even care about the content of the poster. The "boys" had been doing heel clicks, as they oft do when crawling between establishments. I find it amusing, and the heel click image triggers that feeling in me.

So I took the photo and I played with it. On several levels. Tweaking it so it no longer resembles a photograph at all, but instead an icon. I like its imperfections that add texture and depth and make it seem more like graffiti than just another piece of clip art.

I like what I created. It has history as an image. A story from where I saw it originally to the three versions I have of it up on flickr now:

Heel Click One

Heel Click II

Heel Click III

Another example... which comes up on several different examples. When I take a digital picture of something a graffiti artist has done (which, by nature, puts that image in the public realm) - and then I manipulate it - at what point is it my creation and not just an image I "stole" and edited? You can also take into account that many graffiti images have layers by different artists.

Some examples:

Girlien Face

Warrior Face

And at what point is what I create simply the means of having the right tools? Without a computer and some set of editing software (of which there are many options) - I couldn't do these without this software. I could create these with just my hands - they need to touch a mouse and connect to a product at some level.

Is it mine because I know when to say no? Because I stop editing at a certain point? Like the painter who knows her last brush stroke? Like the photographer who was in the right place at the right time and knew to press the button?

I could go on, but I'm curious what other think.
I dreamt last night that I had a fancy, shmancy camera and I was able to take really amazingly high resolution photos. I was holding it and manually focusing and adjusting settings and loving seeing my world through this lens.

Dreams lately have this feeling of bursting through my slightly inhibited state of self-expression. Of becoming uninhibited and fully transparent and fully creative.

It makes me realize how closely creativity is linked with my emotions.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

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