Saturday, May 30, 2009

newest article for monthly column

The latest article by me for the column called the Missing Link between art and business is up on

It's about 16 bootstrapping techniques to preserve your cash.

I'd love to hear your ideas for keeping cash on hand. Please leave a comment!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I'm away from the Office, I'll get back to you soon.

Hi all,
I took some pics of last week's art but guess where they are at - in Sacramento. I'm in San Fran since I had my commencement ceremony earlier this week. I'll be home Tuesday, so that night there will be pics of 11 foot hanging sculptures in progress and me in a mortar board along with a belated Week 19 HITS.

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

my b-day is 7 days away *wink wink

After searching the San Fran, Berkeley, Peninsula and Sacramento Public Libraries, I couldn't locate the next two books that I really want to read next: the Psychology of Trading and Social Styles by Wilson Learning.

So if anyone wants a birthday idea for my 25th b-day that's coming up in a week, Amazon carries both of these books (wink, wink). I'd be thrilled with a used copy. Reusing resources are just my thing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sacramento Thrift Stores

Last weekend a friend and I went to a bunch of thrift stores. The ones listed here I'd never been to before. What's nice about them is that they are all in the same neighborhood.

Cottage Thrift

Just open about a month ago (April 2009)
7614 Fair Oaks before the split
Small but clean and organized
bunch of knitting needles

at the fair oaks manzanita split, turn onto manzanita
4126 manzanita
Lots of organized clothes
No exchanges or returns (is this standard at thrift stores?)

Weave Thrift Store
6634 Fair Oaks
Purple building
Lots of organized clothes
50% off everything on Saturdays (This seems too good to be true! Is this right?)

Thrift Store

on the 6200 Fair Oaks block next to a California Family Fitness and a fencing club
Biggest thrift store visited to that day
It has a big dressing room :-)
no returns or exchanges
Lots of organized clothes- I'll be back for Summer clothes!

Anyone has recommendations for thrift stores in Sacramento that have lots of plastic cups???

Stinky Pingu

Sweet Dreams by Kirsten Lepore

Sunday, May 17, 2009

HITS Week 18

I'm walking in three days!!!

Yahoo for being done with school!

I've been waiting to be a grad for the past 5 years.

Now it's time to wear the dorky hat and celebrate!

Highlights for the Week:
1. Played with watercolors, crayons and glitter pens at a friend's house. Between the 4 of us, we covered the kitchen table with paintings and art supplies. So much fun!! Thank you. :-)

2. My knitting students have jumped up from French knitting to using needles and they are doing beautifully.

3. Creating new Cactus Lights

Went shopping for more plump, knit pipping for super long Cactus Lights, (they will be between 7-10 feet tall). After stumping many fabric store workers, I laid out all of my inventory and realized that I can use what I have instead of continuing to hunt for more pipping. The original pipping came from a thrift store, so I dont know where to buy more. I knit the black material on hand into three long tubes.

Then on Saturday, a friend and I went to a bunch of thrift stores and found great cups for the lampshades. I love the colors! I get all giddy thinking about arranging them. For 10 cents I bought a crochet hook. I predict good things will come from this! Can't wait to youtube on how to crochet.

Researched on other electrical wiring options. I have about a million and one questions and ideas. For now, I'm still asking questions and taking notes.

4. Wrote another article for about 16 bootstrapping techniques to preserve your cash. I'll let you know when the article is posted. It turned out really well. I'm happy with it, if I do say so myself. :-) I'm also approaching advertisers for the capitalist chicks site. If you're interested, you know where to find me.

5. I love killer bunnies!

6. Continuing the hunt for a creative job. Thanks to a friend, I learned of another production company in Portland that does stop motion animation.

Photos are here.

Week 19 HITS
Week 17 HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm way under the speed limit...

Today I am running between a pig and a turkey. Can't seem to go a consistent speed. How about you?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

HITS Week 17B

Thanks for being patient and waiting an extra day for the weekly update on what I've been up to as an artist. This week was super busy, involving driving all over the place. (Thank you mom for the car. That was very generous of you.)

Synopsis of the Week:

1. Cactus Light commission! (I'd been holding out on you, until everything was more or less lined up.) I am creating custom Cactus Lights for my friend's loft in Emeryville. I showed him the lights, since he'd only seen them online and he loved them. I made several improvements to the design. Check out the alterations in this week's photo album.

I had a most wonderful business trip with him and his friends from Portland (I another sign to move there, I tell yah!) Us visitors were treated to an incredible vegetarian restaurant by our host. The veggies are grown by monks in Marin. I felt so spoiled. I giggled through dinner. And the hand dryer in the women's bathroom was super fun to play with. It's made by Mitsubishi. The food was so amazing too. Any meal with fresh lemonade is a special one. :-) Thank you for treating, my friend. Looking forward to making you some stunning lights.

2. First week of teaching knitting for a delightful home school family. Last week the 3 kids and the mom learned how to finger knit and French knit. Today will be their first time using knitting needles!

3. Started preproduction work for my first stop motion animation of a poem by Shel Silverstein. I decided to go with "Quick Trip" since it's prerecorded. I want the audio to be excellent so it doesnt distract from the models and animation. Since I'm not looking to be a sound designer, I thought it best to have Shel read his own poem. Plus his voice is nostalgic, since I listed to his poems over and over again on cassette tape. Next step is to do the story boarding.

4. Newest article on art and business is posted on the Capitalist Chicks web site and on the new Facebook Fan Page. I talk about two ways to improve your street cred as an artist.

5. Finished a book by Aardman Animations (they produce Wallace and Gromit). To read my personal insights click here.

More photos of the week are here including crazy looking knitting techniques.

Week 18 HITS
Week 17A HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

HITS Week 17- coming soon

Hello All,
As you know, every Monday I update what I accomplished over the week in the art studio, however I dont have time to write it at the moment. I have many photos of new knitting techniques I tried and their applications to the newest rendition of the hanging Cactus Lights. On Tuesday I'll have all of this up. Thanks for being patient.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Where I belong

creating 3-D animation
Newest addition to the 2009 Booklist

Most of this book was eagerly read under a huge pine tree, while my butt was going numb from the hard ground and the spiky pine needles. I didn’t want to move, because that meant taking a break. The book explains the departments at Aardman Animations (creators of Wallace and Gromit) and how the amateur film maker can use Aardman’s techniques to make their own animations. I found what I was looking for: a creative career that includes film and sculpting that is slow and yet deadline based, focused on details, repetition and getting it right the first time!

This epiphany happened when I saw the photo of a female model maker pressing purple polymer clay into a rubber pressmold in an organized and clean workspace. That could be me having an absolute blast! I’d fit in there: neat, wear an apron to work and a love and pride of creating precise molds.

It all makes sense now that I took a year of film classes while in Art School before switching over to sculpture. Originally I was studying visual effects, but I soon learned that working with materials and tools that I can touch and get dirty are what I find rewarding. I enjoy hands on creating where the creative problem solving is key to figuring out what kind of material and process would be best given the individual character, prop or set.

There are only a few stop motion companies in the world. This makes those artists elite, which is what I am constantly aiming for. On top of that, the companies have a strong reputation for executing everything with excellence and high creativity. That’s exactly what I want to be associated with. By working for a company there could be a variety of projects coming through the studio, like TV series, features, commercials, and experimental films, which would keep me motivated by the constant challenges. Plus, after these past five months of working for myself, I enjoy the idea of having a regular pay check and someone else taking care of the marketing. Since clay and puppets are so versatile, the genre is not limited but can encompass my favorites of dark and twisted humor with a juxtaposition of cute characters.

Now I have a director’s vision for my first stop motion short film. I’m going to storyboard and then sculpt the set, characters and props from a poem by my favorite poet, Shel Silverstein. I picked one of his shortest poems to start off with, since this will take longer then I expect. Besides shooting tests, I need better editing software that won’t bog down my computer, which has the capability of more than two tracks of audio.

Thanks to this book, I got the skinny on the history of animation. Most animators, directors and movie titles were new to me, but Terry Pratchett’s name stuck out. Earlier this year I read his book Sourcery, which I laughed all the way through. The stop motion TV series, Truckers, is based on Pratchett’s book of the same title. Thanks to youtube I’m going to watch it this weekend.

Besides learning best practices for animating, I read this book to interview Aardman to see if they’d be a good fit. I decided we would complement each other nicely: I absolutely love working hard, especially when storytelling and sculpting are involved. I am ready to move, anywhere in the world, to work with a stop motion company.

Related Links:

Mini Magnetic Pies for Sale

Do you remember me talking about photographing mini pie magnets back in February? I even took a few extra photos of the new pies: pumpkin and cherry. Now they have their own etsy shop, which is an online mall of handmade crafts.

Shop name: CNC Women's Crafts

Miniature Magnetic Pies

$4 and $6 each

The profits go to funding the Women’s Ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church in Northern California.

Thank you to Heidi Rodriguez for heading up the designs and to the selfless volunteers who created these miniature pies. Also thanks to photographer and store manager, Elizabeth Symington, owner of

Sunday, May 3, 2009

HITS Week 17A

Week 17

Highlights for the week

1. Put together photos of my sculptures to music for my demo reel.

2. Went to San Francisco for 2 business meetings, plus to see Caroline's show in Berkeley, who's an artist I assist.

3. Downsizing but getting rid of things I haven't used in the past 6 months, like oil paints and easel. I posted 6 more ads on Craigs List.

4. Applied to Laika in Portland, OR as a freelance sculptor. They are the company that created the movie Coraline. :-)

5. Played Worms and Flock on the PS3 with Ian! He also showed me everything that he worked on in the video game for HSM 3. I'm really impressed. He did a ton of work. My favorite was the blue crescent moon that he designed. It's very painterly.

6. Learned to finger knit and knit a scarf.


Click here for photos of an action figure's torso glued to plywood and my bro, the carpenter.

Week 17B HITS (I miss numbered. It should of been Week 18, but oh well. You get the picture.)
Week 16 HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)

Friday, May 1, 2009