Monthly Archives: April 2009
i was cleaning my studio yesterday and ran across this little pamphlet i forgot i had! published in 1944 by standard gasoline of california, this little gem has lots of informative yet dated information and entertaining illustrations. here’s just a small sampling:
“food fights for freedom” – “you will be proud that you not only “raised ‘em” but you “stored ‘em” yourself as well.”
“storing” – detailed instructions on how to store things in your basement, or, if you don’t have a basement, in outdoor pits, mounds or trenches.
“peas” – there’s a section for each common vegetable grown and how to preserve it using various methods. yes, all the illos depict vegetables doing anthropomorphic things related to the war effort.
“other vegetables” – the most blasphemous illo of all is on the last page – a pumpkin and jars with a pitchfork chasing off hitler and a big-toothed asian. whoa. proof that we’ve come a long way culturally since then.
you know that saying if you want something done, ask a busy person? well, i’ve felt like a very busy person this past week! on top of all the deadlines, i decided to clean the basement wood pile. by making scrap wood planter boxes! the largest one is 3′ x 3′ x 3′. this project cleaned up both my wood pile and one of the substantial dirt piles in the yard for the cost of a box of wood screws.
time to buy more seeds! actually some of my potatoes on the counter have started sprouting, so i’ll plant those in one of these boxes and see how they do. i dimly remember planting potatoes on the farm as a kid: if i remember correctly you cut them in half and place them in the dirt sprouts-side-up.
back to the scrap wood planters: i was inspired by the dutch furniture designer piet hein eek, who’s work i discovered in a dutch magazine about a year ago when my and saelee’s calendar was featured on another page. i totally flipped out over the article about piet and his work and workshop and spend months searching for his book. it’s safe to say this is the most expensive book i’ve ever acquired, but it’s one of my favorites in my library!
the book looks like a slab of wood, and weighs about the same as one too!
some scrap wood furniture!
just look at that storage space… you should see his work space! and the cnc machine they have! drool…
enough. back to work on my deadlines! look for another blog entry when everything’s completed later in the week. i’m excited about these projects!
this past weekend was gorgeous weather here in portland, so one of my roommates and i got a zipcar for an hour and went to portland nursery to get starter plants and seeds for the vegetable garden. last year was my first year with a garden of my own, and we successfully grew 3 types of tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, chard, broccoli, and peas.
i’m looking forward to growing even more things this year and having the time to pay more attention to it. growing vegetables is incredibly easy, all you have to do is add “water/check the garden” to your daily to-do list. well, it’s easy after you’ve built the garden boxes and bought and/or amended the soil. that part requires some initial work.
last year we built two 15′ x 3′ garden boxes, and this year i’m adding more garden boxes and pots as i find them. my one rule for hardscaping in the garden is that everything has to be free or nearly free. either found on craigslist, or on the street during my daily walks with the dog. this past week i scored a big wooden box that was originally used as a packing crate, and a wooden wine bottle box [shown above]. i still have a pile of dirt left over from last year, so that will dictate how many more planter boxes i can add to the yard. we’re starting most things from seeds this year, so right now the yard looks like we’re mostly growing dirt. just wait. the pictures will get better!
i just finished reading “animal, vegetable, miracle” yesterday. it was a sad book to finish because it was so good! the author spent a year with her family growing most of their own food, and buying what they couldn’t grow from local sources. although i’m not about to do that, i *am* inspired to think about canning or preserving what i grow, and seeking out locally-produced foods and preparing dishes using only in-season foods.
i have so many earmarked pages in the book, but here are just a few things to think about: we’ve all lost our intuitive sense of agricultural basics – do you know when fruits and veggies are naturally in-season in your area? bananas aren’t grown here in the pacific northwest – can i live without them? making your own soft cheeses is apparently easy [i'm pretty lactose-intolerant, but intrigued]. that’s just what i earmarked in the first 100 pages…
my friend arianne runs aeolidia web design, their portfolio reads like an indie-business who’s who. arianne and i have known each other since before either one of us did what we do now, and i’m not really sure why we haven’t worked together before! but that’s been rectified. if you’re an eco-friendly or nature-loving small company in need of a website, logo or illustration, we’d love to hear from you!
working furiously on my upcoming show for life and limb, which opens may 1. above is my drawing area for the morning, with my favorite “succulent forest” plant from life and limb in the background.
yesterday faythe from handmade nation passed along this link to an interview about the movie, the book, and the movement.
also yesterday all the stationery files were processed by the printer, and everything goes on the press this week! such a relief to finally get that project under way – everything will be ready and in the shop in 2 weeks. i always forget how long the production side of things take. once you’re done with a drawing, well, that’s just the beginning!
i have a handful of other projects i’m working on, but will keep those under wraps for now.
all week it’s been at the top of my to-do list to post to this blog, but somehow it’s friday already! i’ve been distracted by all the blooms in the neighborhood, two days of fantastically sunny weather [it's raining again now though], finishing up some projects, and recovering from handmade nation weekend last weekend.
part of my posting delay was in waiting for other people to post pics of last weekend, because even though i brought my camera, i forgot to take pictures! i found the “class pic” above on flickr – all of us from the film and book that were at the portland premiere. here are even more flickr pics. [clockwise from left]: mr. mandy greer (um, sorry i forgot your first name!), pat castaldo (buyolympia.com), nikki mcclure, susan beal (west coast crafty), garth johnson (extreme craft), kate bingaman-burt (obsessive consumption), me, mandy greer, and faythe levine (the filmmaker).] so many people to see and talk with, i think i slept 12 hours each night just to recover from each packed day of events!
somehow, i did manage to read another awesome book over the week. made for each other delves into the ancient reciprocal relationships that have evolved between humans and animals, fueled by a shared hormone called oxytocin. originally i’d intended to do a lengthy post/review of this book to encourage you to read it, but, uh, this one post is going to be long enough!
above is a preview of some of the new stationery goods i’m sending to the printer. they’ll be ready and available on my website the last week of april! some of these are images from the floral leaves datebook, some are from my forthcoming art show at life and limb on may 1!
the last thing i have to tell you about is a girls’ group show at my neighborhood cafe. tomorrow night is the opening.
OPENING, SAT. April 11th
6PM – 10PM
The Fine Grind
2035 SE 39th Ave
ok, i’ll stop typing now. happy weekend!
back from my radio interview with kate bingaman-burt and susan beal this morning at wk radio. i’m not sure if it will be archived on the website, i forgot to ask, but if it is, it will eventually be here.
tonight is the movie premiere at the museum of contemporary craft, tomorrow afternoon is another screening of the movie with a panel discussion afterwards featuring yours truly, and then sunday is yet another movie screening and/or you can come to doug fir for the 3rd birthday celebration of portland’s monthly crafty wonderland featuring lots of special treats and plenty of goodies from quite a few of us featured in the book and movie.
my dog and i have just returned from a few days on the coast for a relaxing get away. it was my birthday treat to myself. it rained pretty much the whole time, but there were a few breaks in the weather for quick jaunts outside. most of the time though, we were in our hotel room sitting next to the fire and looking outside our large picture window at the sea battering the rocky coastline.
i’d also brought a stack of books with me with the intent on doing a lot of reading, but instead i read one book twice – it was that good. “gathering moss” is written by robin wall kimmerer, a scientist moss nerd who’s also a native american. the book is full of essays comparing the miniscule world of moss to other, larger worlds and the interconnection of everything on the planet. my kind of book!
there’s a lot going on this weekend with the handmade nation documentary premiere, but i’ll write more about that later today. i’m off to do a radio interview for it!