Saturday, August 30, 2008

new pics

Thanks to Deb, I have photos of the kickball game that went down in Portland! And a group shot of us ladies all dressed up to see Eartha Kitt in Seattle. Check it out. They are Days 25 & 26 and 17. The kickball pics are a bit small, so you can check them out here if you are interested.

Friday, August 29, 2008

All Done!

The past two days I've been filling out the application for the San Francisco Transfer Station Art Residency. It was due today at 5pm. I had issues with the bus system, and just barely made it with 15 minutes to spare. Rarely do I wait until the 11th hour to finish a big project, but HEY, it's done!!!! I can breath again. ahhhhh!!!!!!

Back in May I applied to the McColl Art Residency in North Carolina. I recently heard from them, that I wasn't accepted. It would of been super helpful to get some feedback, from them, but alas. I'll reapply next year to show them how much I have grown and that I really want to have a residency there. Tip: send a thank you note when you are rejected. I hear that it will go into your file. It will be there next year when you reapply. It shows that you care about the selection committee for giving their time to review your application and that you pay attention to details.

I got a letter from the Vermont Studio Center. My friend, Celeste, heard back from them over a month ago that she got in!!! I've been so ancy to find out if I did or not. I called them several times to see if my letter had been sent. Apparently over 800 artists applied and about 350 made it in! I got my letter yesterday. I am accepted and offered a grant to cover a 1/3 of the expenses. I'm going in October 2009. It will be my first time to Vermont, so I am already excited about seeing the leaves changing. I hear there is no prettier place for Fall. Thank you to everyone who wrote me a letter of recommendation! I really appreciate you giving me your time.

I am still waiting to hear back from the Headlands, in Marin, California. I'll keep you posted. ;-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Epilogue of the "Liberating trip from BART"

In review of my 49 days away from my apartment in San Francisco, I realize now that I have experienced and completed a lot. It is surprising to me how easy it is to forget how far I have come. For this I am thankful for being diligent about journaling.

Here's the recap:

The idea for the trip was birthed from frustration of waiting on public transportation to move me around the Bay Area. At the time, I was also stuck into a predictable routine, which was governed by lots of rules and list making. I wanted to be away from the city that I know so well, and be in a place that I can get lost and be in nature. This epiffany hit me when I was painting a ceiling out in Berkeley. Why not have a working vacation up in Oregon? And why just stay in Oregon? How abot go anywhere I feel like going? So I packed my passport and jumped on the train.

Days 1-6 in Sacramento, California
Stayed at mom's house

What I did:
- drive-in with mom, aunt and cousins to watch Wall-E
- field trip to Sacramento Recycle and Transfer station with mom, aunt and cousins
- small town 4th of July parade in Rancho Cordova
- saw old friend from middle school (Joanna!!)
-Ian, the Arnez cousins, and I swam in the Sacramento river and rode on a miniature, electric train
-painted mural with 2 assistants (Sam and Isabel)
- my 24th birthday party!
-Kadie baked me her state fair 1st place, chocolate-orange cookies
- made coconut tamales with Kadie

Days 7-9 in Portland, Oregon
Stayed at Deb's house

The itinerary:
- train ride from Sacramento to Portland (only $125 one way!)
- bike ride to Rocky Butte and Mount Tabor
- OMSI adult's night (hands-on science museum)

Days 10-13 in Eugene, Oregon

Stayed at the Eugene International Hostel

What I was up to:
- Eugene public library (read kids' books in Braille)
- Pioneer cemetery
- Oregon Country Fair (learned to juggle)
- Eugene International Astronomers Society (Looked at Mars and Saturn through the telescope at the same time. They were right next to each other! Jaime went with me.)
-Juggled on the campus of the University of Oregon

Days 14 and 15 in Salem and Monmouth, Oregon
Stayed with old family friends from the home school era back in Sacramento

What I did:
-tour of the capitol with Allison
-Explored the State library with Allison
-Berry picking and horse feeding

Days 15-20 in Portland, Oregon (for the second time)
Stayed 2 nights in the Northwest hostel and checked out because the bed was super uncomfortable. For the rest of the time I was at Deb's, chill'n with the sisters, Deb and Mary Anne.

The deal-e-o:
-looked at books, maps, and sculptures at the main building for the public library
- researched design ideas for my future tattoo
- juggled with local jugglers at Reed College
- Worked for local sculptor, Dana Lynn Louis (filled orders, organized a part of her studio and ripped up an old couch)
- Cheered on Deb and Mary Anne at their kickball game
- Naked lady party with Mary Anne, Tracey and me
- hit up the galleries that Philip and Dana told me about
- sand castle competition (now I want to try that!)
- with the sisters, we watched a documentary on tattooing on the History Channel, that I made props for

Days 21 and 22 in Seattle, Washington
Stayed at the noisy Green Tortoise hostel that's right across the street from Pikes Place Market.

My goings on:
-Olympic Sculpture Park (I went here several times. Amazing, amazing! The tour was good too.)
- walked around the Space needle
-Pikes Place Market
- main branch of the Public Library (it's like a contemporary museum of the hot shot sculptors!! It is a must see!)
- galleries that Dana told me about
- Seattle Art Museum (saw my first Do-Ho Suh sculpture in person)
-Klondike museum (Much to my surprise it was about the gold rush not the ice cream bar)

Day 23 on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound (a ferry ride from Seattle)
Slept at the dirty Vashon Hostel; 1 night in a tepee and another under the stars.

What I did:
-rode a ferry that reminded me of growing up in England
- rented a bike for $1 and rode explored the island
-borrowed clubs from a really nice, professional clown, and juggled something besides balls for the 1st time

Days 25 and 26 in West Seattle
Stayed with friends of Mary Anne's, Beth and Jon. Beth is a travel book writer and Jon has his own business, so I had a wonderful time talking with them.

-back to the Olympic Sculpture Park for more inspiration
- Jon gave me a tour of Pikes Place Market and showed me the fish tossing , which I missed the 1st time through)
- went into a music shop to look at mandolins
- At Jazz Ally, I saw Eartha Kit with Mary Anne, Deb and Tracey

Days 27-37 in Portland (for the 3rd time. I just can't get enough of this city.)
Stayed with Deb and Mary Anne again. ;-)

what kept me busy (and sleeping sound at night):
- working for another sculptor, Jillian. I was painting French doors, fence posts, and making a mold for a concrete counter top, then helped pour it. I also cast plaster belt buckles for a commission, that was for film makers for a film festival and put a patina on hardware for the apartment we were remolding.
- Flutag with Mary Anne
- Dark Knight with Kelly and Mary Anne
- celebrated at a champagne bar, for Mary Anne kicking butt in one of the hardest classes at the Academy of Art, the dreaded Color and Design. She earned an A, even though it was an online, summer session class. I am so impressed!

Day 38, in Bothel, Washington (just north of Seattle)

Stayed with old friends from England, that I hadn't seen for about 10 years.

What happened:
-caught up with Judy and Clayton!
- learned from them, about retirement plans, IRAs and

Days 39-49 in Denver, Colorado
Ian met me at the DIA airport. We stayed at his parents place, up in the finished attic.

The adventures:
-glass gallery with Carey, Ian's mom
-many amazing, chiropractic adjustments from Ian's dad, Mark
-Aerial dance show at BCAA (Boulder County Arts Alliance) with the family
- folk and Irish music at Buffalo Bill's grave with Mark, Carey and Ian
- Dark Knight with Ian
- played Munchkin Bites with my rival, Ian the vampire
-messed around with my new digital Fuji camera
- research for my next application to another Artist-in-Residence program
- devoured a book about resume and cover letter and wrote my own
- took a grant writing class at BCAA with Ian
- cheered on Blayn at his graduation
-visited a friend from my Black Forest camp days (Matt took me hiking and performed some magic tricks for me).
- Went to the Grandparent's house and visited
- Mark, Ian, Carey and I went to the Denver Art Museum, the contemporary art museum and a gallery called Robishaun
-Huge family party for Blayn at Aunt Susan's
- 4 wheeling by Georgetown with Ian and Blayn

Day 49 (August 18th)
With Ian, we flew back to San Francisco. I am still processing all that has been going on and discovered about myself from this trip. I dont miss having a home. I do miss having personal space and a place to make art. Some time soon I will be writing my thoughts from this trip. Thank you for cheering me on, and reading my blog. That is encouraging to keep posting.

Mon, Aug 18th, DAY 49

(The backyard where lots of tanning has gone on.)

(Ian in the backyard strutting his stuff.)

Today is the big day. I am going back to San Francisco. Last adjustments and goodbyes were said by 8:30 am. Ian and I returned the dirty rental car and jumped on the plane.

When we got back to the apartment in San Fran we ran for Mexican: tamales for me and a burrito for Ian. I had no cash so I had a $20 credit card minimum, so in my very hungry state, I quickly filled up the basket with fresh fruits and veggies. I felt so at home in the Nicaraguan grocery store. I love the fresh food and the tamales!! As you know, it's dangerous to shop when hungry, but the prices can't be beat here. Some how I managed to only spend $40 on produce, a burrito and 2 tamales.

I said hello with the lovable, landlord, Eduardo and to his youngest daughter, Rosaria. She had a new puppy named Foxy. She is super cute. Ian and I unpacked, and celebrated my return from being away for 50 days, by drinking champagne. At night we watched Fear and Loathing and had an early night, because of traveling.

Sun, Aug. 17th, DAY 48

Today was a bit sad, because it was the last full day in Colorado. I started the day off great with an adjustment and more reading of Carey's resume book.

Then Blayn took Ian and me 4 wheeling up by Georgetown. My Subaru forester did great!! Hurray for car rentals! It was ridiculously beautiful, especially when it started to snow. There was fresh powder all over the road and mountains. Blayn took us to an old mine. Check out the photos. Ian took them with my new camera.

On the way back to Denver, we stopped by an elementary school friend of Blayn's, who just had a kid. The infant was miniature. I forgot they come that small. She is adorable, but I don't want one for many years.

At night, I frantically finished the book of 200 resumes. I also read the chapter on cover letters,
which helped me a bunch. That chapter clarified a lot of questions about the intimidating cover letter. Keeping true to my nerd side, I scanned my favorite resumes and cover letters for layout and content. While reading that book, I have written a draft for my cover letter and resume to be a grant proposal reader. I want to learn how to write effective grants, (to fund my art,) so I need to be around great grants.

Mark made amazing elk burgers. Yum! I am going to miss having meals prepared. Mark and
Carey have been so generous in making amazing meals. Thank you so much! For the last night, Mark, Carey, Ian and I hung out on the deck and visited. I am going to miss spending time with them.

The mine that we drove to.

Blayn slipping and sliding up the ramp into the mine.

Moi. In the last photo you can see all the snow on the roof. Inside the building was crazy amounts of drips from the snow melt off. It was an experience. Standing in the mine, ranked up there with the top things seen on my trip. Everything was weathered from water, and there were old machinery. You could see your breath.

Me throwing snow at my new camera (and camera man).

Me launching the snowball. Ian was safe because my aim was WAY off.

Where's Waldo?

Ian and his brother, Waldo.

Sat, Aug 16th, DAY 47

It seems like every time I turn on the TV to watch the Olympics, it's always a swimming competition. I just want to watch fencing. (I am hoping Adam recorded the fencing, like he did last time, so I can borrow it.) What do you think of Phelps? He's younger than me, by a year, and has accomplished so much more. Watching him repeatedly win races and set world records, created a stern conversation with myself, over what have I accomplished? What is he doing that I am not. It all comes down to one word: focus. What one thing do I want to excel at? How do I pick just one? Then, once I excel at one activity, I can move onto another (which satisfies my need to be great at everything).

The morning consisted of more resume writing and reading of that awesome resume book. I blogged and ate a bunch.

That night was a family party for Blayn at Aunt Susan's (not my mom, but Ian's Aunt). There was tons of amazing food: beef brisket, corn on the cob, salad with cucumbers! and an apple spice cake that Carey came up with. I hadn't seen most of the family since the family reunion 3 years ago. That was the same trip as Mark's 50th birthday. I met the entire family all at once. Thankfully there was no pop quiz on anyone's names.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fri, Aug 15th, DAY 46

I spent the morning hanging out and reading knitting books and magazines. Carey, Ian and I went to the Denver Art Museum. It was very unusual how interactive the exhibites were. There were lots of activities for kids to do too. I saw one of Anthony Gormleys sculptures in person. That made my trip!

Then Mark joined up with us and we went to the Contemporary Art Museum, which was surprisingly small. My favorite sculpture there was of a cardboard totem pole cast into bronze. They have an art residency program. I need to check that out. In the gift shop I bought the annual magazine called Art in America. It's the complete gallery guide to all of the United States.

In the rain, the 4 of us, waked to a gallery that Barb said I shouldn't miss. It's called the Robishaun (that is very misspell, but that's how you pronounce it). There was a political show being installed since the Democratic Convention is coming here.

Dinner was an amazing spaghetti that Mark made. That night we watched the videos from Mark's bike ride around Alaska. After that, we as a family we watched Casino Royale, the best James Bond movie yet!

Thur, Aug 14th, DAY 45

Started the day off with more resume writing. I am really loving the book. ;-)

I drove up to Fort Collins to hang out with a friend from the Black Forest Camp days. Matt was a red headed a counselor who got burnt all the time. I had to tease him and poke his sun burns. I was nice like that. Plus I was 17. Today Matt took me to Horse Tooth reservoir for a hike. It is so nice to get out of the city! We didn't see any wild life, but we did get a little rained on.

Then on the way to the Rio for Mexican, we were attacked by golf ball sized hail!! Lunch was delicious. We went back to his place and watched Anger Management. Matt is a magician, so he gave me a show. My mind is still stumped. I have no idea how he did any of the tricks.

That night we met up with some of his friends and played air hockey. The drive there and back to Denver so liberating. It is so nice to get myself around town, instead of waiting on public transportation. The stereo system was amazing!!

Wed, Aug 13th, DAY 44

The three men, Blayn, Mark and Ian.

The bro-skis (the way Ian's calls them).

I've been devouring one of Carey's books called, "Gallery of the best resumes" by David Noble. He goes over format, layout and what needs to be on the resume. It's full of 200 plus examples of finished resumes. It has helped so much. I've been writing a resume to a non-profit for an internship as a grant reader. I haven't started looking for places in the bay area for a specific no-profit, but I have a good idea of my layout and information.

I had an adjustment ( I am loving this!!!) Then Ian and I drove to Parker to visit the Grandparents and with Jack the white, lab. Barb walked us around Parker and showed us some local art. I also got to see the mural she worked on with another lady. They used historical photos to replicate the early days of the town. For lunch we had an amazing spaghetti with churiso!!! Even though it was super hot I had to play fetch with the dog. He bounced up and down all over the backyard.

That night was Blayn's graduation from the rehab program at Salvation Army. He gave an inspiring speech to the other beneficiaries who are still in the program. I am super proud of him!!! To celebrate we went out for Thai. The dessert was amazing: rice, coconut milk and mangoes. YUM!

It was so warm out Ian and I slept on an air matress on the deck. That is my favorite place to sleep. Watch the stars and wake up to the sunrise. That's perfect in my book.

Tue, Aug 12th, DAY 43

All morning I was nerding out doing research on how people get motivated and on San Francisco statistics. I'm going to use the information in my proposal to the art residency at the San Francisco transfer station (aka the dump). The deadline is Aug. 30th, so I am revising my written proposal. After I submit my proposal I'll be writing more about it. If I don't get the 4 month residency, I'll look for places to get a grant to cover the cost of making the art.

I am super excited about my plans so far. It seems like all my research turns into more research. One thing always leads to another. I got off on a tangent while reading in Wikipedia about motivation. It was on Myers-Briggs personality test. I read the description of the 8 categories and with out a doubt I am a INTJ. I found an insightful and creepy explanation of my type in this article: It's creepy because it describes me very accurately, especially the part about getting annoyed at other people's short comings.

Ian and I walked around downtown, in particular the public library! The outside is really interesting looking, but the inside has lots of fluorescent lights and pink walls. We looked through books in Polish. I'd never seen it written before. There are lots of really long words like in Dutch.

We took the grand tour of Arvada, looking for Apple Jacks. We found it, along with the sought after cactus juice, and feasted at Chipotle. We then got lost going to Boulder, to go to Carey's work for a class on grant writing. The teacher was very impressive. It was a super helpful class.

Some things that I learned from the Grant writing class:
1. Start with my concept for the art project and how I'll evaluate it's success before looking for a grant.
2. Once I know exactly how much money I need for the project, then look for grants.
3. After reading the grant guidelines to see if I can apply, visit the website to see who has won it in the past and for how much money.
4. This next step is super important. Write a memo to myself listing off each criteria that they specify, how it is that I qualify. If I do fit every specification then write the proposal.
5. Format to their specifications. It is a waste of time to tweak layout and spelling for each draft. Save that for the final draft.

Other helpful tips:
1. Take a friend out for lunch or coffee and tell them about your project. It will help you verbalize your idea. The friend is there to ask questions about the project, just like a grant panel would be doing. You've just written your first rough draft of your grant.
2. work, volunteer, intern were you can read grant proposals. That way you can what it is that companies are looking for.
3. Look for places that offer classes on grant writing, budget writing, and how to find the grants. I've taken grant writing class at the Foundation Center in San Francisco and at the BCAA in Colorado. It becomes less of a mystery once you are more informed.

At night Ian and I played Rummy and drank margaritas. Fun times. For the record Ian kicked my butt at the card games. He was on a role. ;-)

Mon, Aug 11th, DAY 42

Today was super hot. I loved it! Ian and I went on a bike ride to the 16th street mall. We saw the "Dark Knight". I saw it in Portland, but Ian hadn't seen it yet. We both agree that it's the best movie of the summer, along with Wall-E. I don't know what I'd change in the Dark Knight. It was extremely well done.

All evening, Ian and I played Munchkins Bites! It's the horror film version of the card game. For the races you can be a vampire, changeling or a werewolf. We played that a ton.

We won't talk about who kicked butt in Munchkins.

Then we played around with my new camera.

We also messed around taking "artsy" pics of a red Lazar pointer on various objects on the deck, like the fountain.

Sun, Aug 10th, DAY 41

Another relaxing day that started off with an adjustment (thank you Mark!) Ian, Mark, Carey and I went to Buffalo Bill's grave for see Grubsteak perform one last time. I'd never heard of them before, but Carey has. She's been following them for I think 20 years. First an Irish band played. It was raining like crazy, so everyone had umbrellas and sat under the tarps. It was just like I remember Colorado: sunny one minute, rainy the next.

(The windy drive to Buffalo Bill's grave over looking Boulder and the Coors factory.)

One musician played a modified bagpipe. He blew up a balloon and put it over one end of his harmonica. When he played the harmonica, it sounded like a bagpipe!!! It was super impressive and very funny to watch.

(Mark getting rained on, during the concert. What a touch Coloradoan!)

That night the Grandparents came over for dinner. I hadn't seen them for 2 years, when they spent a day in San Francisco, back when I lived on 21st Ave in the Richmond. I played around with my new camera that Ian picked out for me. I got sick of spending so much on developing film, for this trip. Ian picked out the camera so that his good technology karma will give it a long life. The past 2 digital camera I've owned had mysteriously died. This new one has a warranty, so I should be fine.

Sat, Aug 9th, DAY 40

Ian's mom, Carey, and I had some girl time. We went to a 2 level gallery full of glass artwork! There were several by Chihuly. My favorite ones were the non-glossy surfaces. We went to a coffee shop and talked about art, which was very fun. Carey works at Boulder County Alliance Arts (BCAA), which offers lots of services that I am thinking I want to have with my business that helps artists with marketing, finaces, grants and gettting organized.

The afternoon comprised of getting a much needed adjustment. I've been contemplating flying Mark, Ian's dad, out to San Francisco just for a chiropractic adjustment. Then I took a nap.

That night, Mark, Blayne, Ian's bro, Carey and I went to BCAA for an aerial dance performance. One act stole the show. Two female, former Cirque performers were on a rotisserie like object doing all sorts of things that made me nervous thinking they were going to fall any minute. Their costumes were stunning too!

Fri, Aug 8th, DAY 39

Judy and Clayton had plans for today, so they dropped me off early at the airport. As we were driving up, they asked me what airline I was traveling on. I had no idea. I hadn't even printed my e-ticket. I only knew the time it was departing Seattle and arriving in Denver. So they dropped me off in the middle of the airport and we said our goodbyes. Laughing to myself that I did this, I called Ian. He checked my email and gave me the information. Before this trip, there is no way I'd just show up at an airport with no idea who I was traveling with.

To pass the time, I picked up a blank journal and began writing ideas for business plans and sculptures. I also bought a book called "The witch of Portobello" by Paulo Coelho. It's about a woman who fights to be true to herself, despite other people's opinions.

There is an interesting mobile-like sculpture in the main area of the airport. It was of small metal chains (like for security necklaces) with small birds attached to them. From a distance it looked like a giant bird in flight. I loved the use of multiples and metaphor for the construction of the sculpture.

Once on the plane, I realized I haven't flown for 3 years. A lot has changed. It was creepy flying on Frontier, because in the back of every seat was a monitor. Around me, maybe 5 people paid money to watch a movie or to have cable. The rest of the people, with out exception, were watching the commercials for 4 hours! It was like they were mind-less drones.It reminded me of "Wall-E" where the people sit in chairs all day drinking from giant plastic cups. I stuffed a napkin around the screen to block the commericals. It was like that for several hours when the stewardess told me that I could dim the screen with the controls by my arm. I don't know why she told me this. My method worked great. I guess it's another example of analog versus digital.

I met Ian in Denver, where we rented a car and drove to his parent's house in Denver. I hadn't seen Ian since I was in Sacramento, which was 4 weeks ago. It was good to see him.

Thur, Aug 7th, DAY 38

I 've been contemplating if I should end my entries with my time in the Northwest and not cover my trip in Colorado (I am going there on 8/8/8). I figured I'd want a journal of my adventures in Colorado, so here is the abbreviated version of my time.

Today was my last day in Portland. I guess I was wishing for this too hard, because I had a super hard time catching the train to Seattle. I was supposed to be in Seattle by 4, but instead arrived at 9:30. The good news: I got one extra afternoon in my beloved city! The train was booked for the noon train, so went to lunch with Jillian. It worked out great because it gave us time to problem solve the stubborn belts. That morn we also finished the belt buckles. As soon as I have the pics they will be here. I havent seen them completely finished, but Jillian said they look great.

At 9:30pm, I finally made it to Seattle, where old friends from England, now live. I spent the night at their place and feasted on English sausages. They were so delicious. I haven't seen Judy and Clayton in maybe 10 years, so it was wonderful to catch up. They were a huge source of information on teaching me about IRAs, retirement plans, and starting up a small business. I am eating all this business realated information like crazy! Right now Clayton is working on his doctorate on International Business. I look forward to seeing them again. Hopefully next time, Tim and Mom will come too.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wed, Aug 6th, Day 37

(Mary Anne needed a model for her final design project for color and design. I love it! Her design is very funny. The old ladie's boobs are knocking the dog in the head, while the men in the background are in awe of this hot mama.)

I started work at 8 today to beat the heat. It was supposed to be 94 and muggy, but it was over cast, rained a bit then got super hot at the end of the day. I finished casting the belt buckles!!! I am very burnt out from casting them. It is hard to get anything else done when I get pulled away every 20 minutes to demold and cast another buckle.

Jillian taught me about patinas, specifically putting them on doorknobs and face plates for the knobs, to make them more classy. It involves lots of sanding. Patinas are a chemical reaction, so one they are sealed they won't chip off. This is so much better then using paint, especially on door knobs. There are patinas that require the metal to be heated then have the liquid patina brushed on and others put on the cold metal. There are also different patinas from different metals. No double dipping or else the whole bottle will be contaminated! So poor some into anther container.

I tried wiping acetone onto the metal knobs to remove the lacquer, but really it needed a soak in a a bath of acetone. So I used my muscles and a palm sander to remove the finish. Another thing about the patinas, is that they can be found where they sell guns, because they are used to antique guns. You can't get it at Home Depot.

I helped Jillian glue the cast buckles onto the metal buckles. It feels so good to be done with them (at least my part). Now she gets to stain and seal them.

I left early for Happy Hour at the Meridian on Hawthorn. It was a celebration of Mary Anne kicking butt in her online Color and design class. Today was the last day of summer school. She got at least a B. I am really impressed. She posted her paintings on her facebook page. WOW!

(I couldn't find a file format of this picture that I could post here that was totally done, so use your imagination. Mary Anne painted this with gouache!)

(Mary Anne, Kelly and me all fit in Kelly's truck. Good thing us ladies are little.)

(Mary Anne LOVES these flowers! They look like an orange iris!)

Tue, Aug 5th, Day 36

Today was even hotter then yesterday!! It was high 90s!!! The exciting/exhausting part was that Jillian and I poured the concrete countertops.

I was stressed from the sudden appearance of mixed concrete and a trowl for me. I mushed the concrete into the mold, smashing it down, hoping for no air pockets. We cast 2 counters. One was 200 pounds of concrete plus the water. In hindsight, we shouldn't of risked the counter by setting it on 4 plastic saw horses. They didn't like being shaken, which we did to get the air bubbles to rise to the top. All the walls held up and nothing leaked. Jillian added stain to the concrete and acrylic glue. I can't wait to see how this turns out. She's not worried, because it's not for a client. It's for her. If it doesn't turn out, then she'll try something else. She had a concrete casting company where she cast frames and table tops. She hadn't cast a counter before, but she didn't see the difference from her previous work. I am so impressed with her fearlessness attitude and trying something new. I can't wait to see how they turn out!

Maureen, Jillian's studio assistant, was at the rental today. She tooled the leather belts for the belt buckles to go on. They look so good! Today Maureen and Jillian stained all 30 belts! I painted doors while they stained.

By early afternoon we where all burnt out. Jillian was so sweet and treated us to Thai. It tasted so good! I've never sat down in a restaurant with concrete on my leg and under my nails. We all looked so cute in our skirts and dresses, with our dirty paws. After all, you have to look cute when you work. ;-)

I don't recall much else from the day. A bit more casting and we ended early because of the heat. I was completely worn out from the casting.

Mon, Aug 4th, Day 35

Today was SUPER hot!!! It was like summer in Sacramento, except I was working in a house without AC. It was high 90s. Yikes! I cast a bunch more belt buckles and finished up the template for the kitchen countertops. Jillian made the mold for the countertops, with melamine for the bottom and the walls from vinyl strips. She reinforced the vinyl with chunks of wood screwed into the melamine in case the concrete tries to break the vinyl. She then sealed the vinyl to the melamine with caulking, her favorite fix all remedy. I also painted doors ( I bet you wanted to know that). heeheh

Mary Anne made a yummy Mexican dinner. The meat was from Trader Joes. I need to pick some up. It was so good! That night Deb, Mary Anne and I watched the documentary on Genghis Khan. The footage was bland after seeing the movie at the Hollywood theatre.

Sun, Aug 3rd, day 34

I went to bed at 3 am last night then got up at 8 to go to work. It was really rough. Mostly I cast more belt buckles and painted doors. I made the template for the counter tops then Jillian made the mold for them. We are going to cast concrete countertops for the kitchen, in the rental that she is remodeling. I am really excited to work with concrete. This is a first for me. Jillian has lots of experience working with concrete, so it will be great to work with her on this project.

That's all I have in my notes. I am sure I ate dinner then crashed into bed from the lack of sleep the night before.

Sat, Aug 2nd, day 33

(Check out the flying machine. Pretty soon it will be in the river!!)

Today was one thing after another of fun things to do in Portland. Mary Anne and I went to
Flugtag, sponsored by Red Bull. I know you know what this is. It's the ridiculously entertaining event where teams of people design flying contraptions then push them off a 60 foot high platform into the river (or bay). The one that flies the furthest wins. It isn't really about breaking the record of 100 odd some feet, but seeing silly, having a dance routine, wearing costumes and designing the most ridiculous flying machines. Most just plummet right into the water!!! It was a record sized crowd of 40,000!!! It was way to crowded for Mary Anne and me. It was still entertaining. We are thinking about entering next year. Maybe have an aircraft fabricated by female sculptors, advertising our creative skills. Mary Anne could choreograph the dance and figure out the crazy costumes. We need to look into the rules and the location of Flugtag for next year.

(Can you find me? I am by the trees.)

(Part of the stage. The team members pushed the wheeled flying objects off the stage into the river. The pilot had to man the air craft, but the rest of the team didn't have to jump in. It looked really cold and scary!)

To get away from the crowd we went to happy hour and ate muscles, olives and drank sparkling wine. You can't beat that! About 2 blocks away we went to the movies to see the Dark Knight!! My 3rd movie seen in the theatre this year and they all have been excellent!!! The movie was so dark and creepy. Definitely not a movie for kids. I really enjoyed it.

Mary Anne's man, Kelly, met us for sushi and a night out on the town. It was a very fun night. ;-)

Fri, Aug 1st, day 32

It is now Wednesday and I am looking over my notes from what happened last Friday. It's only been 5 days, but it seems so much longer than that. My mom calls me periodically and asks if I have Internet access. I ask her why? Did she send me an email that I need to reply to right away? No, so says, she wants new posts on my blog. Mom helps me to keep up this documentation of my trip. Thank you madre.

Consulting my notes it says I worked for 7.5 hours painting closet doors for Jillian and went to the movies with Deb. At work I also continued casting the belt buckles for the film festival. I cant wait to have pics of the finished belts. They are for the jurors for a festival that happens once every 4 years in McMinville, Oregon. Everyone camps out there for the weekend and watches movies. It sounds like a blast!

I've been casting PermaStone in a rubber mold. I learned from Jillian that for mold release that you can use PAM or silicon spray for food products. Canola oil doesn't work because it is too thick. The white powder is from good old Michaels. It claims to be as strong as concrete, just add water and stir. I also added brown stain to the powder so if it chips it won't reveal the glaring white plaster. It takes about 20 minutes for the belt buckle to set up then 15 minutes to demold, clean up the cast and poor the next one. By today, which is Wednesday, I've cast 35 keepers. About 6 buckles were sacrificed to figuring out how to poor the buckles.

At night, Deb and I went to the Hollywood theatre to watch an Indie film about Genghis Khan, called Mongol. It's the second movie I've seen this year in the theatre. It was stunning! The cinematography was beautiful, and the locations were great. It was graphic, but that was to be expected given the story. I realized that I knew nothing about him. A few days later I watched a documentary on him on the History Channel. Parts of the movie were true, but the love story about his wife wasn't mentioned. Alas.

I also talked with Celeste, a fellow sculptrice. Back in May we both applied to artist in residence programs for next year. She got 2 letters in the mail. One was an acceptance letter to one residency and the other was a rejection letter. I am super happy and proud of her. Celeste works so hard, and is very dedicated to her art. Check out her site at:

(Courtesan. Life-sized ceramic figure by Celeste Flores.)


For those of you following along my travels, I posted pictures for days 13, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23 and 26. Enjoy!

Friday, August 1, 2008

DAYS 30 & 31

Can you tell I am burnt out on blogging? I am also tired and sore from working all week. It hasn't been hard work just taxing because I've had to focus on one task for hours at a time, like painting 2 sets of french doors. I've really enjoyed working for Jillian, I am just glad I can sleep in tomorrow.

The last 2 days I worked about 8 hours each day painting various things and casting belt buckles. Tonight Deb and I saw Mongol, which was visually stunning and very intense.

I just got a call from my friend, Celeste, and she got accepted into an art residency program!!! I am so excited for her! WAHOO!!! I applied too, but I need my bf to check the mail for me.

I still haven't developed my film. I havent done much this week besides work, eat and sleep.