Friday, February 29, 2008

Living like a queen on a paupers budget

I've learned that if I go to a school and have the students practice on me, it's a fraction of the price. Often the flip side is that it takes more time.

In San Francisco, there are 2 hair saloon schools that I am familiar with. One is Vidal Sassoon and the other is Paul Mitchell. I go to Vidal because it's location works better for me. The hair cut is $20. Every time I've left stunned at how amazing I looked! It seems like the students know so much more than a person at cost cutters. The flip side is that you have to wait for their teacher to come around and approve the students work before moving on. You also have to make 2 separate appointment for a cut and color, but the price break is worth it. Since the stylist is learning it often takes 2 hours for a hair cut, so allow lots of time.

Vidal Sassoon
(415) 397-5105
359 Sutter St
, San Francisco, CA

Paul Mitchell Partner School
1067 Folsom, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 355-1734

The Pacific School of Dentistry is also an amazing place. I actually looked forward to going to the dentist. I think the students are in their last year. For me it was half the price than going to a licensed dentist. My student dentist, who was licensed in Peru, was very knowledgeable. It was like he wasn't a student. My biggest complaint is the amount of time it takes. Just like at the hair saloons before mentioned, the teacher's have to approve each step. On average it took 2 hours to fill a cavity. I had my wisdom teeth pulled by them. For legal reasons a licensed dentist yanked my teeth out (while I was asleep). The price was still half price from any other private practice dentist.

As of last week I've been going to the National Holistic Institute. It's a massage school. For a 50 minute massage it's $35. And you are not aloud to tip. They have specials, if you sign up at specific times it costs $20! There are also other locations in the bay area. You can make appointments online too. I figured since I'm no longer going to the Chiropractor (my new health insurance doesn't cover it) I have a weekly massage.

There's the Foundation Center that has free classes and a library on finding grants. They're also in a few other major cities. I've been to several of their classes and there was tons of resources. I haven't had time to research grants and residencies, but I figured taking the class is the first step for me.

Also check out schools for cosmetology and student therapists. Get creative and look around!

series on contemporary visual artists

I have also been watching short documentaries on contemporary visual artists. This has been a source of inspiration and it introduces me to my future peers. The artist's talk about their art, why they create and other thought processes. It introduces me to other ways of thinking and creating.

From the city library and on youtube I've been watching art:21. It's a PBS series on artists from the 21st century. Also from the library I've been watching Spark made by KQED. It's production quality is no where as finished as art:21, but I recognize lots of locations of San Francisco. Plus I want to learn about the local artists too. I haven't checked out Art City, but I hear it is good like art:21.

where I've been

My mom sends me emails asking why I haven't posted in such a long time. Here's the low down for what I've been up too.
1. For the last 2 weeks I've been making ceramic props for a documentary on the history of tattooing. It will be on the history channel, hopefully this summer. The film company sent me a line drawing of some artifacts and I sculpted them. I could see pursuing more jobs like this. I really like the research of the artifact.

2. I even made my own knitting needles using a 3/4" dowel. I cut it in half, then sanded it with a circular belt sander. I did it in less than 15 minutes. If I had bought needles it would of cost $15. Instead I paid $2 for a dowel. Knitting with them tires my arms, but it's a good tired. Like you're working instead of just sitting. So far this gauge is my favorite. It's loose enough to pull and touch and still holds form.

3. My bf bought a new Nintendo DS game called Professor Layton and the Curious Village. It's a mystery game made up of puzzles!!! I rarely get hooked on a game, but this one is amazing.

4. Mostly I have been at my second home, which is my studio at school. The concept for my latest sculpture finally solidified. It is about how do you explain color to a blind person. In a previous post on kids' books in braille, I showed photos of the raised pictures. The pages are often thin plastic with pictures and braille raised on them. There's no color. In one of Leo Lioni's books transcribed into braille, there's a texture/color legend. Each texture represents a color. I am making a sculpture based on this same idea.

5. While knitting, I've been listening to books on cassette tape. In the sculpture building, there is so much clay dust in that air, it messed up my CD player, so I am kick'n it old school. I really like listening to tape because they are interactive (u have to flip them over and change them often). Once a CD is scratched, it's often toast. Cassette tapes are not usually checked out at the city library, so they're all mine. :-)

I listened to The Giver and the Messenger by Lois Lowry. I read these before, but I missed them. I forgot so many key events, it was like reading it for the first time. Even though they are thought of as kids' books, they talk about serious topics. Ironically, the theme of the Giver, which is sameness, is the same concept for my sculpture. Since then the sculpture has evolved into teaching braille.

I listened to 3 of 8 tapes on Gulliver's Travels. I keep waiting for it to get good. I loved the movie as a kid, but this book is so boring. I finally decided to end the torture and move on to a new story.

Then I picked up Cold Sassy Tree per suggestion of a friend. I had her listen to part of the reading and she was appalled. The main character who narrates the story is from the south. But his accent and pace of talking is definitely not southern. He reads the story so fast you don't have time to imagine the details he reads. I am going to get the book and read it myself.

As a treat for when I am at home not doing anything, which is hard for me to do, I am re-reading Gone with the Wind. I read it in high school so I am long over due. I forgot how much I have missed these characters. I havent even made it to the opening ball, but I can hardly wait!

Friday, February 1, 2008

What is this???

I bought something and I have no clue how to use it!! I am guessing it is used for knitting, but maybe it's for crocheting??? At first I thought it was a circular needle for knitting tubes but I looked up images on yahoo and they have needles at both ends.

Help!!! What is this and how do I use it????????

No more important paper pile!!!

One of my new years resolutions was to be more organized and stay that way. I have a bigger problem with the latter. I mentioned before that I bought a filing cabinet used for $16. It was rusted and a boring beige. Last spring, I made about a 100 miniture, magnetic sheep. They tend to migrate from surface to surface around the apartment. The sheep told me they wanted to live on the filing cabinet. So I let them.

Right after buying the filing cabinet I purchased file folders. They are 1/2 the price at Walgreens compared to Longs. I bought a bunch of extras so I can't use the excuse that I'm not using the cabinet because I don't have any folders. I was going to label the tabs in pencil so I could change them in the future, but that's just silly: 1) they are super cheap to replace, 2) pencil is hard to read and it smudges, 3) why would I want to rename a file folder named "taxes" or "receipts"??? You can see in the close up shot of the filing cabinet I opted for colored markers because they are fun, easy to read and easier to remember since I recall things by their color.

Today I spray painted my filing cabinet black and green. I ran out of paint to so I had to use regular house paint for one side. Then I sealed the whole thing with Krylon crystal clear, so it wouldn't scratch off. I guess I should of used 2 coats, because when I moved it to my bedroom I scratched it. Thank goodness I picked colors that Sharpie makes! I touched it up with a black sharpie.
It has been wonderful not having a stack of papers on my desk, bedside table and on drafting table. Now they all have a file! Because I made the system colorful and fun, I've enjoyed using my filing cabinet.

I use to have a pile of notes on small pieces of paper. Now I can throw those notes in their folder. I even have one for blogging. I get ideas of what I want to post, but I don't always have time to write the post at that moment. Now I can reference the blog folder when I have time!


I adore this woman and her humour. Julia won the Guinness World Record for knitting with the largest knitting needles!

My mom taught me how to knit with yarn at Christmas. Since then I've been experimenting with what else I can knit. So far I've tried strips of fabric and round stretch cord. Both work great if you use a large gauge like 13.

What materials have you tried knitting?