Sunday, November 30, 2008

Win Free Paintandink Prints Today!

Quick! You have a chance to win some of my prints at Coveiter if you make a comment on that blog post by midnight tonight...

Thank you to Coveiter for inviting me to participate.

(Sorry for the late notice... holiday decorating with company going on around here to the sounds of jazzy Christmas music.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

To Australia, Pittsburgh, the North Pole, and Beyond!

It might not surprise you, but I love Google Maps Street View. I can travel vicariously through my computer, and that's awesome ... a few weeks ago, in fact, I spent a good half hour wandering around Sydney, Australia.

Even more, I like to go back and visit all my old haunts, the ones that are hundreds or thousands of miles away from me now. Not all of my favorite places are on Street View yet, but enough of them are that when I get homesick for whichever place - I've had a lot of homes - it's not a bad antidote.

It never occurred to me to see Street View as a performance venue, but other people have, some for prurient purposes (go find your own links for that one if you want) and others just for the sake of plain old fun, wacky entertainment. Like Street With a View, in which vignettes were purposely set up in time for the Google car to capture them on camera. Take a look at the photos, then click the links on the side to see the scenes in Street View. (Via

This is my favorite:

Or maybe this one:

In other news, I was knocked off my feet and out of the studio last week, not by sword-bearing people, but by a very rude flu. This week I am gratefully on my way to recovery, aided by joyous excitement that my holiday postcards with my map of the North Pole have arrived!

North Pole Map

As soon as the envelopes (ordered separately) get here, I will list the cards in my Etsy shop. Reproductions of the map are already available, here. Not only that, but you can find it on nifty products here, in the other Interimaginational Institute shop, including a coffee mug and an apron for wearing while you make your favorite holiday cookies. While you're there, you might just find the perfect gift for your favorite map lover. Happy browsing!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Facebook Fun...

I have read a lot of suggestions lately that artists open a Facebook account and share it with the world. The thing is, I love that Facebook isn't open to the world. I do have a Facebook account, but I keep it fairly private, limited mostly to people I know in person, so that I can be "myself."

Not that I'm not myself with you, my wonderful blog readers, but I do try to keep the conversation (somewhat) sweet and polite, and keep my more sardonic / political / sometimes very mundane / occasionally fiercely opinionated sides out of the spotlight. I wouldn't want you all to run away screaming...

But thanks to French Toast Girl, I have discovered a way to share Facebook with everyone: I have set up a page for the Interimaginational Institute, and if you have a Facebook account, you can be my fan, post comments, take a look at my gallery and so on. I'd be honored if you check it out, and if you do, please say hello!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do you know your way around the North Pole?

No? No problem! I have the North Pole Tourism Bureau's definitive map right here:

Tour the toy factory, carpentry workshop, and stocking shop; take a spin in Santa's sleigh; pick up a delicious snack at the bakery; slide around on the skating pond; and top it all off with a cozy supper at the North Pole Restaurant & Inn. There's caroling, tree-lighting, cocoa-drinking and merriment galore at the North Pole, and they can't wait for your visit!

And very soon, you can share that with everyone on your Christmas card list. I've just ordered a batch of holiday cards, which will be available in the next few weeks at the Interimaginational Institute for Fantastical Exploration & Cartography, so check back soon.

November 11

Veteran's Day is technically over where I am, but before I go to bed, I just want to say:

Thank you, honey.

For working so hard and giving up so much (especially things like daylight and fresh air).

I love you, and I am proud of you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Cherry-Picking #9: These Boots Are Made for Everything

I wore cowboy boots almost every day for five years .

I hated cowboy boots growing up in Reno -- thought they were totally dorky, and I would know, because I was a total dork.*

And then a strange thing happened when I moved away. I got nostalgic. So I bought a pair on one visit home. Ariats. Comfortable, like a dream. Or like jeans, which I also wear almost every day.

When that pair wore out (after thousands of days, not to mention miles, because I lived in and walked all over the city of Philadelphia for most of those five years), I started mixing my shoes up a bit in the summer (I like Mary Janes almost as much as I like cowboy boots and flip flops are slightly more practical in Virginia humidity, after all).

But I have a new pair of boots, purchased on my road trip last year** from the same tiny shop in Reno where I bought the first pair, for almost the same price.

And I am so glad fall is here, so I can bask in their bootness: comfort, laid-backedness, me-ness.***

* Yes, I still am. I know.

** What, you don't think year-old boots are new? Well, I did work in an office all last winter, and then wore other shoes all summer. The boots aren't even close to being broken in, yet.

*** And no, in case you're wondering, I don't ride horses. Would love to, they just haven't really been part of my life, except for that one day when I lost my hat because I happened to be on horse that decided it was a Ferrari and managed 0 to 60 in 1.2 seconds. I didn't have boots back then. Probably lucky my hat was all I lost.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

I don't have any photos or fancy Election Day graphics, but you can find those in a lot of places online today (not to mention some cool artwork, like my friend Jeannine's).

I just want to say this:

I voted this morning.

Actually, I arrived this morning, couldn't find a parking spot, drove home, walked back, waited in line, and ended up voting just after noon.

The last time I voted -- I do my best to vote in each election, even the small ones, because I feel it's important to use your rights or lose them, although I won't vote if I know nothing about the ballot, because that is also irresponsible, and I forgot that I would be in Hawaii during the primaries, so I never ordered an absentee ballot -- the last time I voted, which was for city council races, there were only five other voters in the room. No line.

This morning, I was told, there were 800 people in line when the polls opened. Eight hundred. That's a lot more than five. The earliest voters arrived at 3:20 a.m. Still yesterday in some parts of the country.

You should know that this morning, when the polls opened, it was raining. And it rained until just before I arrived, and then off and on again. Those people waited up to three hours, outside in the rain, to vote in an election that, in our area, only has three things on the ballot: United States president, U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative.

I arrived later, at 10:37, thinking that most people would be at work. I was wrong. I waited for an hour and a half. And every minute felt fantastic.

This is the first time in the 15 years since I turned 18 that voting made me feel elated, instead of mildly curious, or even resigned. And it brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy. Tears of hope. Tears at the thought that I have the privilege of casting my vote for the leader of my country - nay, leaders, because our Senators and Representatives are leaders, too - when so many people haven't, for so long through history, had the right to pick their own government and to this day still do not have that right.

And when my vote not only affects the future of my country, but the future of the world.

It was an honor to wait in that line.

If only all elections were like this.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I Hear Turkeys Wearing Sleigh Bells and Bearing Gifts

Well, I do have very strange and vivid dreams a lot of the time, but actually, that title is a roundabout way of saying:

Holiday shopping time is nearly here!

Actually, for some, it is already here and gone. My cousin has finished Christmas shopping for her kids, and wow, I am in awe.

But for those who have not finished, or even begun (um, like me), don't forget to check out Etsy for some incredible, marvelous, singular handmade items and vintage goodies.

I'm going to post a new widget on my sidebar to give you an easy way to sign up, but feel free to try out the link now (and I don't get anything from the referral but joy, because it's my opinion buying from craftspeople and artists like those on Etsy can improve the economy and change the world).


I invite you to visit an incredible website called Etsy ( Etsy is an amazing online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. You'll find a creative community of independent artists and designers offering the very best in handmade goods, craft supplies and vintage. It's an excellent place to buy one of a kind items, to give as gifts or for yourself, directly from the artists, while forming personal connections with the people who create them. And even just the window-shopping is fantastic.

Signing up is free and easy. Just click here:

Enjoy! And while you're there, stop by my shop for a visit:

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Cherry-Picking #8: The Skeleton in the Closet

In honor of the Day of the Dead...

I used to keep a skeleton in my closet.

A glow-in-the-dark skeleton that was a left-over prop from a show I worked on.

I named him, but I don't remember what his name was.

I thought the closet was the appropriate place for a skeleton, and I made a point of telling everyone I had a skeleton in my closet. A little affected, perhaps, but I thought it was hilarious.

I miss my skeleton. I don't know what happened to him.