Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How to remove permanent marker

How to remove permanent marker and other seemingly permanent marks

Have you ever used a permanent marker on a white board before? Someone I don't know did that to a white board. So they took it to a creative re-use store. I bought it for $2. All that it takes is Baking Soda and water. Put the baking soda and water on the stain and rub it off with a cloth! When it's all off, just wash off all the white grime from the baking soda.

This trick also works great getting kool-aid and wine stains on counters and tables.

This tip was brought to you by Works-for-me-Wednesday hosted by rocks-in-my-dryer. Click the link to read more tips!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The best place to buy size A bras

The best place to buy size A bras

I was shopping with my mom for bras in the ladies department at Walmart
. I was having a hard time finding my size, which is an A. I was being silly and suggested that I look in the girls department. We went over there and looked. I hit the jackpot!!! Not only were the bras regular price of $7 but they were fun colors too! There's flowers and bright colors and pastels. It is much more fun to wear a bra that has color. Coming from an artist, color is my lifeforce. ;-) To make the experience even better, the bras where on sale for $2.50! I have never owned so many bras. I am definitely set for the next several years.

There's my tip for my fellow Works-for-me-Wednesday bloggers, where we each share a tip of what works for us. I just had to post a picture to shock my mother.

The Ultimate Thrift Stores

Talk about the ultimate thrift store! Over the last year I've been introduced to creative reuse stores. Depending on the store, the items are new or used. Some carry furniture and others cater to artists.

In the bay area there is Scrap. They carry new and used items that are aimed towards artists.
For example: several balls of yarn for $1, bolts of fabric, boxes of tempura paints, page protectors for black, portfolio books. I bought $80 worth of polymer clay (aka sculpey), a plastic binder, 2 scrap bundles of cord for $16!

In the east bay, there is the art depot. I haven't visited them yet, but I am told that teachers go there to buy supplies for their classes. It sounds like they have similar art supplies to Scrap.

Also in the east bay is Urban Ore. It's in a huge warehouse full of stuff. There's a used lumber yard, aisles of doors and used windows. I bought a 2 drawer filing cabinet for $14. There's a kitchen, tools, books, furniture, sporting goods and electronic section.

It is so easy to just buy everything because it is so cheap. My rule is to buy what I am going to use this week.

To look for a creative reuse store near you, look up "creative reuse+your city".

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lots of random tips

Random Tip List (Because I love tips, randomness but mostly I adore lists!)

1. The Best photo shop in the East bay is the Looking Glass.
2. If you are going to archive your slides don't use an Epson consumer level scanner. Consider buying, borrowing or renting one. The Looking Glass has a $600 scanner for rent at $99. If you check it out by 2pm Friday you dont have to return it until 1pm on Monday.
3. Rent a wet vac, AKA carpet cleaner, from Safeway. They have 24 and 48 hour rentals. Go to the customer service desk to rent one.
4. How to roast your own "roasted red pepper".
On a gas stove put a whole bell pepper directly on the burner. Leave it there until it gets black then turn it over. It's about 2 minutes a side. When it's black all over take it off and let it cool. Cut pepper in half, clean out seeds. Then scrape off black. It should come right off. Viola.
5. If you have a splayed paintbrush that has bristles going every which way get it wet. Then using masking tape, tape the bristles so that they hold the shape that you want. When it dries it will be under control again.
6. Are you running out of room for your scarves? I was hanging them on hooks, but inevitably I always needed the scarf on the bottom. I'd have to take them all off to get the one I wanted. And often the scarves just fell off anyways. So I fixed this buy hanging a curtain rod on my bed room door. You could use a towel rack too. The scarves are easy to get off and they look pretty. Now I just need to figure out where to put my knit hats.
7. I haven't read this trilogy yet, but I hear it is very good. It's required reading for graduate sculpture students. It's "Art Theory" by Robert Williams.
8. A building of galleries in downtown San Francisco is at 49 Geary at Market street. I really need to go there.
9. You can design your own rubber stamps. Look for it online. It should be pretty cheap. It's great for a ceramic sculptor or potter who needs to initial and date their work. I've been carving my own initial stamp, but when I need something more complicated, I will look into it. I was reading that you can make professional business cards and letter head by having a custom rubber stamp of your logo or name. It's the fraction of the price then having a printer do it for you.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This is my first time doing Works-For-me-Wednesday, and it's a backwards day! Normally I share a tip from my life, but instead I get to ask for advise. I wrote a huge mental list of things I need help with, "doing the things that I don't enjoy doing first like laundry and dishes, how to organize my giant paper pile, and where to get new, off beat music."

This is what I decided on: how do you make a decision? I shouldn't be agonizing over picking the best, most creative dilemma, but I am. Does anyone else do that? I think I am indecisive over the big things: where and when to go to graduate school, where to apply for residencies, what to give my boyfriend our anniversary. I lose so much time every day trying to decide on the best choice.

Help other folks with their burning questions at Works-for-me-Wednesday

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another nifty link

I adore Musicovery.com
It's an interactive web radio! It's divided by genre. Just click on the type of music and style and that's all there is to it. My mom showed me this. Thank you!

My new favorite music is jazz. My bro took me to Yoshi's last week. They serve sushi and have live jazz! What a great combo! We saw Stanley Clarke, and he was amazing. He played with 3 young men in their mid-twenties. They all looked so excited to be playing with their hero. It was a great time. Thanks bro.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


left: 7 blind mice by Ed Young. Transcribed by Dorthy Johnson. Tactile illustrations by Marcy Meyer.

Last fall, I took a 15 week course on teaching principals and practices. I learned how people learn, how to teach and how to evaluate to see if they learned. The first lesson plan I made was on a topic of my choice. It was suggested that I research something that I have always wanted to learn. I made a list, because I love making lists, and decided on teaching braille.
I taught my peers how to play go-fish using cards in braille. Everyone wore pirate eye patches and bandannas so no one could see.
One of my teachers from last spring told me about the Lighthouse, which is a non-profit that helps the blind and visually impaired. They have an art show at City Hall every Fall. I went with my boyfriend to the opening reception. It was unlike any reception I'd been too, because everyone was touching the art, including the oil paintings. I want the viewer to interact with my art, but it is a social no-no to touch art, especially in a gallery.
I tried checking books out in braille at the San Francisco public library, peninsula library and Berkeley public library but I wasn't aloud because I am not blind.
At Christmas time I played braille go-fish with my cousins ages 6,10 and 11. The next day, the oldest was making flashcards of the alphabet and punctuation with the help of the youngest. The eldest memorized the alphabet that day! That night we were writing questions to each other in braille using fabric paint.
above: The foot book by Dr. Seuss.
Transcribed by Marcy Mayer.

Fabric paint comes in a small tube with a pointed tip. It dries raised, so it can be red like braille.
I looked online for books in braille at her public library and they had a bunch of kids' books. She went to the library and the reference desk didn't know they even had any. They found them on a shelf right behind them. She even checked out a book that teaches braille to the sighted.

My cousin has been loving these kid's books in braille, like books by Leo Lioni and Dr. Seuss! She checked some out for me to read! They are written in type 2 braille, which is the alphabet with contractions. So my cousin went online and printed off a list of some of the contractions for her and me. There are about 190 contractions so there is a lot to memorize.

above: Ruby bakes a cake by Susan Hill from the Children's Braille Book Club. The page on the left is paper and the right page is plastic with braille printed on both sides. Under that plastic page is a paper page with more words and illustrations.

I came across a font in braille, so of course I had to tell my cousin. We're planning to transcribe a book into braille, including thermoformed pictures. We are planning on transcribing Shel Silverstein's, "A light in the Attic." We're going to look into how to do our own thermoform, which is similar to embossing.
We would love to visit a transcriber and see how they work. I am guessing that a printer does the thermoform, but I am not sure. I could see this as a possible job while getting my sculpting career going. In her city there are a couple of transcribers, same with my city. I'll let you know what comes of it.
What is most amazing about the kid's books is that the pictures are raised, so you can feel them. They are beautiful works of art. They simplify the original illustration for clarity. Also it has objects that are closer to you, like a body in profile has a higher raised arm then the face. This is called form on form. It also emphasizes texture, since there are no colors.
Some of the books are a little different, like Leo Lionni's A color of his own. Some of the braille books come with the same book in print, so a parent could help their kid with reading. At the top of every page is the title of the book. In this Lionni book there is a row of dots to delineate between the title and the story.

A color of his own by Leo Lionni.
Transcribed by Dorthy Johnson. Tactile illustrations by Marcy Meyer. The page with cirlces isn't in the print book. It is a texture key for the story. The top left color is black and it is the roughest texture. On a page not shown the white texture key is totally smooth. In the second row, second one down, it's the key for gray. Later in the book you will meet an elephant, and he has this gray texture.

Did you know? Pop quiz on San Francisco

Lots of the streets in San Fran are named after famous people, such as Geary street, Junipero Serra Blvd, and Montgomery Street.
  • John White Geary was the mayor of SF in 1856. He had a lot to deal with: over six years there were 1400 murders and only 3 convictions. That wouldn't make me feel safe.
  • Father Junipero Serra established the famous Mission Dolores which is next to Dolores Park.
  • Captain Montgomery, of the United States, sailed here on his ship the Portsmouth (recognize that name? Think Chinatown.) The USA told Capt. Montgomery to claim Yerba Buena from the Mexicans and rename the city San Francisco. I don't feel particularly sad about stealing the land from the Mexicans because they took it from the Indians in the first place. Where else have you seen the name Yerba Buena in San Francisco? What do you think it means?
On September 17th of 1859, Joshua Norton crowned Himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. He was San Francisco's first Emperor (I am not making this up). He was the mayor of SF, but preferred to be called Emperor. It was his idea to set up a giant Christmas tree in Union Square and to build the Golden Gate bridge. The locals loved him and his idiosyncrasies.

new year's resoltions update

I am going strong on keeping my resolutions. (Granted it is only 13 days into the year.)
Here's the summary:

1. I tried a new fruit that I didn't recognize. I bought it at the Nicaraguan fruit vendor. It was a Ya Pear. I kept waiting for it to ripen and get soft like a "typical" pear. After waiting 3 weeks, George tried it and it was amazing. I had one too. It has the texture of a water chestnut and it is sweet!

2. I've been focused on art and learning about how to be a professional artist. I finished reading, "Guerrilla Girls' bedside companion to the history of western art," and "Taking the Leap, building a career as a visual artist. The insider's guide to exhibiting and selling your art," by Cay Lang. Both of these books have web sites if you are interested. I'm sure I will talk more about "Taking a Leap" later on.

3. I figured out how to download Mavis Beacon's teaches typing. Don't tell her I am chicken pecking right now. Using just the home row plus "e" and "i I can type 22 wpm (words per minute). My goal is to take typing lessons with Mavis 2 hours a week.

4. I've been cooking new meals that at gluten, dairy and egg free. Yesterday I made chili with ground turkey. I have no clue what is for dinner tonight.

That's all for now.

I finished another book

Last night, I finished up another book, "The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art" by the Guerrilla Girls. I'd only seen a poster of theirs before reading this book.

In the intro they explain their disdain for "Gardener's Art Through the Ages," which was my textbook in college for three art history classes. Gardener's is a book covering white male art. It rarely lists women or artists of color.

The book has a quirky layouts and lots of sidebars full of humor. For each century, there is a list of womens' rights. It is interesting, and often sad, how restricted women have lived.

The Guerrilla Girls and I don't see eye to eye on everything, but I agree that women should be paid the same for their art as men.