Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Yarn for Grown-ups

Some months ago, I purchased two Rambouillet rovings from Ani at Widdershins that she had painted like this:




Beautiful, right?  But somehow, as I was spinning the first one, I started having doubts.  There was this grey blue and this mauve colour and I just couldn't imagine how they would go together.  I mean, I don't think Ani specifically chose mauve because she is the least mauve person that I have ever met.  Still, sometimes when one begins to draft hand painted fibres, certain colours just appear like unwelcome guests at a party.

As my bobbins filled, I seriously began to wonder if this would be a dud.  It happens to the best of us.  I was spinning the Rambouillet extra thin and with lots of extra twist after the blooming madness of the previous one - I wanted this lace weight to really be lace weight.  So I was investing a good amount of work in this roving, all the while wondering if it would be a grey and mauve mess at the end of the day.

I plied it with extra twist as well, and even while I was plying it, I was saying to myself, " I don't know..."  

But lo and behold, after a good soak to set the twist, what to my eyes did appear?



It is beautiful!  I would go so far as to say gorgeous.  Stunning, even.  Sure, sure, you can have your reds and pinks and those flashy colours that are always standing up and shaking their booty at you.  Well, sit down and be quiet because I have my sophisticated colours here.  Honey, you have to understand the subtleties and the nuances of life to appreciate what this yarn is offering.   Adolescents need not apply.

Because I did a poor job of dividing the roving evenly, I had a lot of leftover on one bobbin, so I chain-plied a small skein.

Another lovely lady.

I mis-read you, my dear.  Can you ever forgive me?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MIsh Mash


I am posting this photo for no specific reason other than it is of Colette.  Those with long memories may recall that she invited us to take a snowshoe/spelunking tour of caves outside of Corner Brook two years ago on her 60th birthday.  It was an unforgettable day but time with Colette often ends up in the "unforgettable" category.  She is now in Ontario receiving chemo treatments and seems remarkably upbeat.  She has a strong network of support that spans the globe so I know she has lots and lots of love and healing thoughts beaming down on her.  Let's keep it up!

On a more frivolous note, Lucy went on a tour of a couture wedding dress design house in Manhattan the other day.  Dorina does a lovely job of sharing it here.  Lucy was a bit iffy about going but she was happy to spend time with her friends so she went.  When she returned and I asked all about it, she described the dresses and the process and the expense.  Then she said, "They were beautiful but it's only one day in your life.  I mean, the important thing about getting married isn't the dress or the party, it's the person you are marrying!"  Yello?  Where does this wisdom come from?  For all the teenage angst that has been surging around me - and my dear, it has been surging - this was one of those moments when I told myself that everything is going to be alright.  Even if Lucy is flipping burgers or, more likely given current circumstances, divvying out our daily lentil ration, she will know how to manage her life in a positive manner.  (As an aside, I always think it is a little strange when people say things that indicate that I have done a "good job" as a parent if my children manage to get into to college and find some kind of employment.  I mean, those things come and go, as does happiness itself.  So when is my job finished?  When does it get labelled a success?  Or failure?  I mean, what if they have a terrible mid-life crisis?  Is that (still) my fault?  These questions haunt me.)  In any case, I am always grateful for these glimpses of maturity that signal that whatever happens, both she and Finn will have the good sense to do what needs to be done whenever it needs to be done.  

And from that...a little knitting content.


I may well be the last knitter on the planet to make this scarf - there are nearly 12,000 projects listed on ravelry - and for that reason alone I resisted for years.  Then, when we were in Santa Fe last February, I had a little incident in a yarn store.  I put the bag away when we got home, embarrassed that I, too, had succumbed to Noro's seductive colours and the allure of such a simple but enticing concept.  For months I ignored that bag and it ignored me.  Then, the siren song became louder.  Although I subscribe to Elizabeth Zimmerman's opinion about K1P1 ribbing, the power of these simple-minded but oh-so pleasing colour changes has me happily cranking out oodles of it.  I am sure there is some kind of Zen metaphor in there somewhere - doing this thing that I don't actually enjoy because I just want to see what's coming up ahead - but I can't be bothered to think about it because I am too busy making this annoying ribbing because I just want to see what is coming up ahead.

At least I know that I am not alone in it.



Monday, December 17, 2012

All is Calm

Well, not really.  Clearly there is no limit to how we will cause suffering to ourselves and each other.  May I suggest that one thing to do is to do our ordinary tasks but minus the usual mental narrative.  Nice, if you can manage it.  It gives plenty of room for feeling sadness as well as joy.



With that in mind, we put up a Christmas tree and we all took delight in the ornaments, the little twinkly lights and the most excellent smell (even if it is the smell of a tree in the process of dying).  

Lucy actually called me a buzzkill the other day.  What's up with that?  And how did she even know that word?


Olive, who is quite good at at doing things without mental narrative, found delight in a pile of recently scoured Shetland.  She has mighty good taste, that cat.  The Shetland is part of my experimentations for The Project in Which I Bitch Slap Richard Serra (But, You Know, With Wool) (working title).

A veritable beehive of activity.  

Please, I encourage you to embrace the darkness as well as the light of the season!  It all will pass swiftly by.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Healing Thoughts Needed

My dear, dear friend Colette is very ill.  Colette has influenced my life in ways too numerous and subtle to be able to tally them up.  This is remarkable in its way, but she has done this for so many others as well.  While most of us have dreams and imagine the time when we might take a risk and try something big, Colette dreams it, then she goes and does it.

You can see some of her work on her new website and on the website for her artist centre in McIvers, Newfoundland, Full Tilt.  Colette lives life at full tilt.  She is force of nature.

Consumer Cyclone from Colette Urban on Vimeo.
Clip from her performance of Consumer Cyclone.  Filmed as part of the full-length feature film  by Katherine Knight about her, Pretend Not to See Me.


Please get better Colette.  We all need you so very much.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Must Have Been Some Breakfast

Did my yoga-related haiku make you want to gag?  Just a little?  Well, here are two from a young master of the form, Ms. Lucy Love.

Pancakes are awesome
But oatmeal raisin cookies
are despicable.

Today already,
I have eaten pancakes and
took the train.  What else?!

Don't know about you but I feel better already.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Knitting Sweaters Like Normal People Do

Since 1955, Loes Veenstra knitted over 500 sweaters and stored them in her home on the 2nd Carnissestraat in Rotterdam. The sweaters have never been worn. Until today.

Het Verzameld Breiwerk van Loes Veenstra from Christien Meindertsma on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Site of the Battle

In the Ashtanga primary series, there are two balancing postures after most of the standing postures.  One of them, Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana, I find quite easy and truly enjoy each time.

Here is Mr. Iyengar doing it.
It feels great and I look forward to it, even if I do have a small black-out period right after I stand back up each time.

But before the joys of ABP can be experienced, one must encounter...the other one.  You know who you are.


Yeah, I'm looking at you Utthita Hasta Padangustasana.  Stretching, balancing, shifting the gaze, breathing calmly, face relaxed, shoulders down - it wants it all.  I dread this one.  Really, like, "oh no, here it comes again.  I hate you UHP!"  Naturally, this attitude does not make for beautiful execution.

This morning, I did it on my own and then the teacher came over to assist me (basically, they hold your extended foot so the balancing part is removed from the equation).  I gave her a look that said, "what? you expect me to do this twice?"  She answered my look by saying, "It is easier when you get assistance."

I replied to her, "Sure, but I have a war going on in my head right now."

She said, "You said it, I didn't."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why Would You Hold Back?

Thank you to Shawn, who no longer blogs (more's the pity) but does post some pretty lovely things on Facebook.



Is there anything more beautiful than people living fully in their lives?

Monday, November 26, 2012

T'was A Black Friday, Indeed


The Devil made me do it.  Yah, yah, yah...I know, the Devil is none other than yours truly, take responsibility, don't shift the blame, etc., etc..  But I think Ani over at Widdershin Woolworks must have an inside track with Old Scratch.  She calls the Prince of Darkness on the red phone (speed dial, of course) and says, "I am thinking of having a sale just after Thanksgiving..yea or nay?"  And he says, "Hell YEAH!  While your at it, dye up some of that fabulous Shetland fleece that has been known to be the cause of a fall from grace of many an innocent bystander.  Or, at least, just the one.  You know who I mean."

And Ani says, "Yes, I know who you mean and she will surely fall from grace, just as winter follows autumn.  But hey, it's a pretty soft landing."

So there you have it.



I am not sorry.

PS.  Her sale is still going on, if ye be tempted...

Friday, November 23, 2012

1000

There is a moment in almost every art project that I take up that has me cursing this seemingly uncontrollable desire to make stuff.  It usually happens near the end when I realize that people are actually going to see this thing or interact with it in some way.  I lament and shake my fist at the ceiling, why, oh why must I do this to myself over and over?  It isn't about the actual work of whatever I am doing, although I do have those moments too, especially when the project is particularly large.  No, this lamentation is about exposing myself for all to see.

My thinking goes something like this, "Some people are content to sit at home and watch TV...why do I have to bare my soul so that people can look and criticize and judge?...Why can't I just make sweaters like normal people do?...."  And so on.  Then I bare my soul and usually enough people seem to appreciate it that it makes it seem worthwhile and, some months later, I repeat the whole process.  As I write this, it occurs to me that I have been riding this merry-go-round for over 20 years.  You would think I would get used to it, but it seems as ripe and fresh today as it did back in the 1990s.

I am bringing this up today because this post represents my 1000th posting on this blog.  One thousand little acts of baring my soul.  There have been many times when I have thought to give it up and, usually just as I have made my decision, I hear from someone who tells me that they really appreciate this or that point or idea and I think, "well, if it is helpful to someone..." and keep going.  But there are lots and lots of other times when it seems totally just narcissistic and indulgent and I feel a little sick to my stomach when I think about it.

Usually after I have a moment of nausea like that, I decide with great firmness that, from this day forward, this will be solely an art blog - no meandering into yoga territory or Zen territory or mothering territory.  No pictures of cute kitty cats, no lustful postings about touching this or that fleece, and definitely nothing about teenagers, their eating habits or hygiene.  Well, you see how that resolution has gone.  I truly admire those artists who maintain blogs that are amazing feats of design and content limitation.  How do they do it?  Then, I think about how all that stuff - the yoga, Zen, kids, cats - spills over into my art and about how much I love art that doesn't set up (to my mind) artificial boundaries between it and the life led by the artist.  So, why would I suddenly do that here?

You can call it lack of discipline or call it baring my soul.  You can call it foolhardiness or an unattractive desire to reveal all in a public forum.  I call it my big, fat, messy, apparently boundary-less life, as described by me, in 1000 pieces.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Buzzkill


Is he looking for light within the darkness or finding darkness in the light?  Hmmmm...I'm not so sure.

In any case, it is always a good idea to express gratitude, however it comes to you to do so.

Thank you, dear readers!  Feel your abundance...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Patience and Its Opposite


For the intensive training period this fall, we have been studying Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way.  In addition to academic study, we do a number of other things to amp up our practice for three months, including an art practice assignment.  This time, it was to work with three (or six, if you look at it another way) ideas:  vigour, patience and giving (and their opposites: laziness, impatience and withholding).  

I chose writing as my medium this time around.  It was very challenging to work through all the superficial bullshit that comes up first thing and really get to the heart of the matter.  I am not so sure I ever really accomplished that, in fact, I am quite certain that I did not.  Even so, I offer you these four haiku.  They are, perhaps, more like crackers and cheese than red meat, so please, just enjoy them as you would a light snack.


Patience (Bhuja Pindasana #1)
Jump legs around arms.
Exhale, chin to floor.  Stay.  Breathe.
Inhale.  Fall on ass.

Patience (Bhuja Pindasana #2)
Cross right foot over left.
Squeeze arms with legs, weight in rear.
Inhale.  Fall on ass.

Patience (Bhuja Pindasana #3)
Jump legs around arms.
Each morning is a new day.
Breathe in.  So simple.





















And this one is for Yudo, my dharma bro who shares my fascination with Namu, the slightly maladjusted cat that lives at the Temple.


Patience (A Haiku for Namu)
With constant practice,
Thirteen years in residence.
One mouse and she’s home.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Taking A Moment to Indulge My Love for Things British (Disgusting, Really, But I Can't Help It)

It is no secret that I am a bit of an Anglophile.  George Eliot can do no wrong in my book, or in her books for that matter.  I am a devoted fan of the 1970s television version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and, of course, my love of the The Mighty Boosh is well known.



Also, my cellphone ringtone is by Eddie Izzard.

In doing some research for my Do Nothing piece, I was very happy to discover this guy (it is very long, but watch the first four minutes at least):



Ok, books, television, comedy...but what about art?  I discovered this artist recently too.  Considering he has won major prizes and been around for decades, there is no excuse for only learning about him now, but there you go.  And here you go:




Thursday, November 08, 2012

What 450 3/4" Suction Cup Hooks Look Like

Better photographs to come - this was the only one I managed to take before my camera battery died.

Instructions Not Included opens tomorrow at ArtSpace in New Haven, CT (50 Orange Street - right downtown!).  Curated by Martha Lewis.  Reception from 5 − 8 p.m.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

How to Make Your Own Do Nothing





Doing nothing is, perhaps, one of the most radical things one can do today.  There is endless pressure and tremendous validation in getting things done.  But what if you simply did not do that?  Or, at the very least, what if you set aside time every single day to do nothing.  What if you did nothing for no reason – not for self-improvement, not as “meditation” or to rest or settle your mind.  What if you did nothing only for the sake of doing nothing? 

What would happen?  What could happen?


Monday, November 05, 2012

Crocheter, Heal Thyself



Please join me for the opening of the exhibition, Instructions Not Included, at ArtSpace in New Haven, CT, this Friday from 5 to 8 p.m..  Curated by Martha Lewis.  The exhibition will be on view until January 26, 2013.

My piece (which is, as you can see, still not quite finished) will be installed in the gallery window.  Instructions to make your own version WILL be included, but, please, use at your own risk.

Friday, November 02, 2012

The New Normal

Our neighborhood in Queens was not among those hardest hit by the hurricane but it took its toll nonetheless.  We enjoy the shade of 85 year old sycamore trees but these same trees are notorious for dropping branches in wind storms.  This time, in many instances, the entire tree came down.



Again, we were fortunate that none of the trees fell on our house or car.  In fact, all the trees that fell landed in the street so the only damage was to parked vehicles.  This isn't great, but it seems better than the alternative.  The trees stayed in the street for several days but the municipal chain saws came into action on Halloween night.  It was a little strange to see the juxtaposition of costumed kiddies and big guys with chainsaws.

When did Lucy become a super model?

Lucy and her friend both came up with the idea of wearing poofy skirts for Halloween separately but decided to trick or treat together.  They looked pretty great - Lucy in orange and black and her friend in all white.  Her friend lives in the East Village where they had no power or water and where they witnessed the storm surge bring water barreling down their street, trapping them in their apartment.  They escaped to Queens for trick or treating, not to mention a hot meal, cell phone charging and the offer of a shower.  

We are still a little stranded ourselves - the #7 train isn't running and traffic and lack of gas have made driving seem unreasonable.  After five days in the house, things are getting a little...desperate.

We have started dressing up the cat.  Maybe we do need some emergency responders to help us.

This is Lucy's idea.  Olyve looks so happy, don't you think?

No hats for me!
We just heard that the lights are back in the East Village.  Slowly but surely things are returning to normal.  Except, maybe, for the cats.

Monday, October 29, 2012

And Now for Something...

The up-side to Hurricane Sandy.
 Last week, I was supposed to be at sesshin - had planned to be there since August - but it was not to be.  Motherly duties called so I gave up my spot in the zendo.  It felt a little extra hard to let go because I had to give up another retreat this summer because of needing to be with my children at an important time.  The teen years do bring more free time for me but less than it might seem.  Their needs are still large and single parenthood sometimes feels so very....single.

Missing sesshin was sad but there were several nice aspects to the sudden release of the week to other activities.  For one, I was able to attend a performance of Pina Bausch's dance company at BAM - it is possibly among the last times one will be able to see them as their future is uncertain (as far as I have heard).



As part of the whole reason for missing sesshin, we all went up to New Hampshire for a long weekend.  Finn spent time at the camp where he was over the summer and Lucy and I camped out at a friend's house nearby.




As detours go, it wasn't so bad.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cake or Death

Once, in a public forum that was recorded and posted on the internets, I said that I would gladly die for my children.  And I meant it.

Yesterday, when Lucy asked to make waffles for her birthday, at first I said no way.


Sometimes non-electric really sucks.

You see, in one of my many we-must-reduce-our-environmental-footprint moments, I purchased this non-electric waffle iron.  It causes me great pain, and not just the burn marks it inflicts from needing to flip it to cook each side and the fact that it sometimes falls apart mid-flip.  No, there is psychic pain too.  Waffles served with a side of cursing.  Cursing baked right in!  And then, of course, the guilt afterwards.

I have tended to shy away from my non-electric waffle iron in recent months.  


But Lucy asked for waffles on her birthday.  And I had a flashback to sitting in front of my teacher, in front of my sangha, with a microphone to my mouth and saying to all gathered, "I would gladly die for my children."



So, waffles it was!  And I even made peace with my waffle iron.  So, cheers, you little cast iron motherf****r!  It's all BFF from here on in.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Not A Moment Passes

Although from the beginning 
I knew
the world is impermanent,

not a moment passes

when my sleeves are dry. 
Ryokan (1758 − 1831)





Friday, October 05, 2012

Coming Soon...


...to an art space near you! 

video

 ("near you" as long as you live in New Haven, CT)
This trailer is a Sodia Like Production.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Tonight's the Night

Could it be Barack and Mitt?


Title page from the book, Men All Around the World,
by Joyce Holland and illustrated by June Talarczyk.
(Yes, the self-same June Talarczyk who illustrated the incomparable, Jimmy's Happy Day.)



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Getting What's Coming To You

Several months ago, one of my sisters posted a photo of a coffee cup cozy on my Facebook page with a not-too-subtle hint that she wanted me to make one for her.  I took a quick look at it and scoffed.  Gimme a break!  I could knit that thing blindfolded with two hands tied behind my back!

When I said as much to her, her sister-in-law piped up that she also would like one...actually, two.  Well, ok.  Still, hello?  Child's play!  I can do it in my sleep.  If only I could go to the post office in my sleep, but that is another story.

Cut to several months later.  What's that they say?  Pride cometh before a fall?  

It wasn't the actual knitting that took me so long - as I so boastfully mentioned, the knitting part was quick as a wink.  It was (1) getting to the store to buy the yarn.  I used Lion Brand's organic cotton, btw.  It is really quite lovely.  (2) Actually remembering to knit the damn things.  (3) Picking out suitable buttons.  (4) Debating for a very long time whether said buttons would be suitable and finally realizing that I could just ASK them if they liked these particular buttons.  Through the wondrous power of the interwebs, it is possible to *gasp* send images to another person.  It took me a while to remember this.  And (5, 6 ,7, 8) Sew on the buttons, find envelopes, look up their addresses and yes, get to the post office.

At long last, here they are:


I ended up using moose antler buttons that I had purchased on my very first trip to Newfoundland in 1997.  I told them that no moose were injured in the creation of these buttons but now that I think about it, I am not so sure that is true.  This is the one based on the photo my sister sent me - a basket weave knit.  See?  So simple!

Because I felt so guilty about taking so long to actually get these things out the door, I ended up making each of them another one, this time using a cable design.


Lovely, no?  I mean, if you think the whole idea of a coffee cup cozy is a good one.  I confess that I find them a bit silly.  But they're fast to make!  Really, you can just bang those babies out.  Blindfolded.  With your hands tied behind your back.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Collaboration

Remember this?


It is approximately 500 yds of Rambouillet spun from a lovely fleece dyed by Widdershins Woolworks.  I gave it to my friend, Zabeth, who has been making all those gorgeous lace scarves for Vogue Knitting lately.

She said she thought it need to be some garter stitch.  I didn't argue with her.

Neither did Webster.


Garter stitch with a bit of lace, of course.


Some say there is a method to my madness...


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sraddha*

Since finishing the project for the Cheongju Biennale last fall, I have been occupied with other things - taking care of the nitty gritty details, and the sweeping changes, that are required when one experiences a large shift in life.  I gave myself permission to not worry about what was happening with my art.  And generally, I gave myself permission to just let what was happening happen without setting up too many rules or expectations about what it is was "supposed" to be like.  So far, it is working out very well.   But what about art?  There have been moments when I felt, perhaps for the first time in my life, that making art just wasn't as compelling as it used to be; that maybe I could even live without it.

Nah.  

Yet, things needed a change there too.

After the Korean project, I felt I was most definitely, 100% certainly, finished with anything that might ever get mis-labeled as a yarn bombing project.  The first time I made a piece of knitting for an object outside was in 1997.  I think it is safe to say that I have fully explored that option and all its possibilities.  

I have been working in my studio these days, making drawings and little samples for some larger ideas and generally just messing around.  My goal has been to not get too hung up on what works and what does not and just let it all flow.  It feels very refreshing and very fun.  Who knew?  Art making is fun!

In the back of my mind, there was this niggling thought - let's call it a fear - that if I shifted direction with my work then maybe no one would like it and I would not enjoy the opportunities that I have experienced with my large-scale knitting projects.  You know, it is why a painter who gets famous in their youth for one thing and then keeps making a variation of that painting for the next 50 years.  While I am hardly an art star, I have reached a place where I am "known for" something, and even at my level, it is scary to step away from that.  It had to get to that point where I felt content to die in obscurity rather than make one more damn knit piece for a tree or lamp post.  Hooray!  I reached that place!  I think I just heard a huge sigh of relief from the universe.

Oddly enough, I may yet not die in obscurity (but if I do, I know I am ok with it).  Things are happening: art will be made, workshops will occur.  You are invited.

This coming Friday, I will be at the NewYork Art Book Fair at PS. 1 with ILSSA from 12 − 4 p.m.  Come visit us!  We will be in the zine tent in the courtyard.

On Saturday, October 13th,  I will be leading a cockade making workshop at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn as part of my Be A Rebel or Just Look Like One project for the collaboration, Battle Pass project.  Cockades also will be available for sale in the Proteus Gowanus gift shop if you don't feel like making your own.

And....what have we here?


Wait a minute...I thought you said you were finished with big boxes of Lion Brand yarn in your living room?  First of all, it is a small box. And second of all, it is not for a large scale outdoor project.  It is for a wall-sized piece for an upcoming exhibition at ArtSpace in New Haven, CT, opening in November.


Details to follow.


* Sraddha - Sanskrit for "faith", pronounced shrad-DHAH.  See: Yoga Sutra 1.20

PS.  Related to two posts below....Shugen Sensei will be signing copies of his book, O Beautiful End, this Sunday at 12:30 at the Zen Center of New York City (500 State Street, Brooklyn).  Come!  Buy!  I think you'll find it will be worth the trip.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mid-Term

Many of my friends have been asking me if I am finished with my yoga teacher training program.  In fact, I only just completed the mid-term exams this weekend.  We had both written and oral exams with essay questions on philosophy, a list of chants to memorize and understand as long as my arm (hint: my arms are really long), and questions about (regular, Western) anatomy, subtle anatomy, practice development for people with health problems and more.  Almost everyone in our group admitted to getting little sleep the night before our oral exams...we were all studying so hard.

Hooray!  We all passed!  Well, several people actually dropped out of the program but perhaps that was not a direct result of the examinations.

There has been some media attention recently about how yoga teachers are certified, with the general agreement that the quality of training can vary widely.  Even within the tradition I am studying, it varies.  A friend is taking a 200-hr training in this tradition with another person and her experience has been very different, and I must say, much less vigorous.  While it might be easy to think that my training must be better because it is more demanding, I think that judgement can only be made when one asks what will the people do who take the training.  Within my 500-hr group, only a couple of us really plan to teach.  The others are doing it for their own knowledge and practice, perhaps with plans to teach in the future, or maybe not.

This isn't "Abs of Steel" yoga or "thin, sexy, cool" yoga or even my dear ashtanga yoga that is so, so appealing to those of us who enjoy a good sweat.  No, this is "so, you say you want to change your life?" yoga.  For whatever reason...a pain in your back, a pain in your heart, or the observation that maybe life doesn't have to be this way: this yoga isn't about feeding what is already overstuffed in your personality.  Believe me, it isn't always fun to have to feed that other part that is starving.  I mean, we were starving it for a reason, right?

Anyway, we are half-way through.  And, no doubt, I will become even more unbearable by the time we finish the other half.

After the oral exams were over and we were all a bit giddy and exhausted, we still had six hours of anatomy with our anatomy instructor.  We were studying our "organ body".  I love our anatomy instructor - she is a dancer and yoga teacher who approaches anatomy in a very experiential way.  At one point, she had us initiating movement via our pancreas.  Maybe it was because we were all in a slightly light-headed post-exam state of mind, but it seemed possible.  I invite you to try.  Your pancreas might thank you.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Death Never Sounded So Good


If you read only one book of memorial poems by a Zen master this year, let it be this one.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Because You Can Never Have Enough Pictures of Yarn and Kitty Cats

Approx. 100 yds, wool and mohair, single ply, bulky.  Available in my etsy shop.

Approx. 480 yds.  BFL and silk, lace weight (mostly).
Not available in my etsy shop because this one is headed to upstate New York.  In fact, it probably arrived there today, which is why I feel brave enough to post this photograph of it.

Keeping watch over the backyard and systematically destroying my aloe plant.  Please note the flea collars.  My indoor cats got fleas this summer.  Because I was in deep denial that this was possible, the fleas had time to establish a stronghold throughout our house and it took weeks to get rid of them.  Be warned!  Life has no guarantees!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Battle Pass Open Studio


Sasha making some final installation decisions.

A diorama (of sorts) of the Battle of Brooklyn made with matches, sand, and garbage by Sasha Chavchavadze and Eva Melas.

Cockade making supplies for my project, Be A Rebel Or Just Look Like One.

Coffe cup installation by Eva Melas.

Map and boat head piece by Paul Benney and Katie Smertz that was used in their performance on August 27th (the anniversary of the battle) at Smith and Bergen Streets in Brooklyn.


Some rebellious cockades.

This one, made by an artist in a neighboring studio, took my own rebellious message to heart but perhaps with a touch of self-interest?

I survey the battleground in my tri-corner hat.  Why do I look like I am just back from a yoga class?  Because it was so unbelievably hot and humid on Saturday!  People were barely able to concentrate on the art, let alone get psyched about making a rebellious cockade.  Yet, it was a fun day and we had a nice, steady stream of visitors, who were nearly all very excited by our project.  Some even said they would vote for us.  I am a little ashamed to admit that it gave me a thrill each time someone said that.