my week: stay positive

I'm a couple of days late with my weekly recap. But Sunday is basically an extension of Friday, right? Anyway, I don't have much time - my daughter, a little under the weather today, is napping, while my husband and son are at Target buying Pokémon cards, so I better make this quick:


8 things nobody warns you about art school. The nudity does get old real fast, I have to agree.

Photo: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle
On Friday, I posted this article about artist Jay Mercado, who makes paintings of donuts (sent to me by a coworker after I brought in two dozen donut holes from Dick's Donuts - best basic donut shop in Oakland). I love that he turned his morning routine - grabbing a donut on the way to his studio where he'd make still-life paintings of fruit - into the subject matter of his art. Sometimes it's right in front of you and you're actually working harder than you need to.

Later that night we finally watched Blackfish and I temporarily lost all faith in humanity ... until I remembered Jay Mercado and his donut paintings. Less animals for entertainment, more paintings of fried foods, okay?

CRAFT (and design and stuff)

Via Buzzfeed, I found out that there’s a campaign to send same-sex wedding save-the-dates to the Supreme Court Justices. I dig it.

Has the maker bubble burst? Handful of Salt seems to think so, read via Makers Nation, which I recently started following on Twitter. They post some pretty interesting stuff.

Image via thestreet.com
Anyway, Etsy clearly doesn't think so. The company went public on Thursday. Man, I could write a whole 'nother post about the wave of mixed emotions that brought on. As I tweeted, I alternated between channeling Bradley Cooper's character in Silver Linings Playbook ("I got nothin' but love for you, brother!") and Unikitty in The Lego Movie ("Any idea is a good idea except the non-happy ones. Those we push down deep inside where you'll never, ever, ever, EVER find them!"). Anywho, there are a lot more observations and links and such on my Twitter feed, if you're interested. And maybe one of these days I'll get around to writing about it here. Or maybe I've said enough about Etsy and will finally move on? Stay tuned!

DANCE (and all the other stuff)

"Soft, velvety" lawns make me cranky. And this is from 2008, when it still rained in California. It also makes me cranky when people don't think critically about the stuff they do by default. Y'know?

Dancing, however, makes me the opposite of cranky. I think that's called happy. Most nights, now that the days are longer and it's still light out between dinner and bedtime, I shoo the husband and kids outside while I clean up. But some nights we play music and on really good nights we all dance, even the two-year old (actually, I think she's the best dancer in the family). One such night last week, somehow the kids got hold of a screen of some sort, I can't remember whose, and watched other stuff while Neal and I put on a karaoke-style performance of Indigo Girls' 'Midnight Train to Georgia'. That led to watching this.

Obviously. Which led to me wondering if 6-almost-7 is too young to watch School of Rock?

It's hard to remember why that movie is rated PG-13. What do you think?


my week: shut it down

Today's another vacation day to round out spring break with both kids. But I'm feeling tired and uninspired. I have a little bit of Etsy work to do, which is just a drag after working a full-time job, family shenanigans, and all the other stuff. So I've deactivated all custom listings in my shop. Again. In addition to a limited inventory of ready-to-send stuff I'd be happy to exchange for cash, honestly, the only reason I keep them open is because closing them felt like not only ending that chapter of my life, but almost erasing it entirely. I need to figure out how to "archive" my 7+ years on Etsy before I officially shut it down. Shut it down!

In the meantime, here's some of the media I consumed this week:


I finally decided what I want to be when I grow up: a philanthropist! Now to figure out the minor detail of independent wealth.

CRAFT (and design and stuff)

Handmade bags made from Lego bricks. I'm a big fan of color, but I love the more minimal black and gold one. My son would be #sojeals.

DANCE (and all the other stuff)

Did you learn the Michelle Obama/SYTYCD "Gimme Five" dance to Uptown Funk over Easter weekend?

And if, like me, you just can't get enough of the first lady dancing, check out the "evolution of mom dancing" she did with Jimmy Fallon.

If you live in Oakland, you probably saw this commentary on The Bold Italic, from an Oakland mom who had to, in her words, "hate Oakland before I learned to love it." It's the totally vaccuous story of a bougie white girl who came to appreciate the "character" of Oakland when really she would have rather lived in San Francisco. I wrote last week that I'd been feeling a little down on Oakland, too, but in reading this I realized for totally opposite reasons. Indeed, it's the increase of folks like this writer and their blue bottle coffee and $800 per week summer camps that's ruining the Bay Area for the rest of us, who just want to enjoy the nice weather and send our kids to public schools that show some evidence of the crazy property taxes we're paying every year. I mean, it's all relative, right, but seriously, read it. And then vomit a little in your mouth.

Anyway, I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow - first cut of the year - and Game of Thrones begins on Sunday so it's gonna be a good weekend. Same time next week? See you then...


my week: 10 years

We survived spending a night in one hotel room with a two- and a six-year old! My daughter proved that she has boundless energy just like her big brother, refusing to nap in the car on the way there and back, and staying up about two hours past her usual bedtime on Saturday. Yeehaw! In addition to Easter-related shenanigans we visited Sacramento's version of Fairyland and a nearly five-star ice cream joint, where I experienced mud pie, on a stick.

Yum. It was a short escape, but I needed every second (and calorie) of it (I've been a little down on Oakland lately, for various reasons I'll write about another time), especially considering I'm just about the only person I know not going to Hawaii for Spring Break next week (last year it was Legoland, this year it's Hawaii). I've had a bad case of the Mondays ever since. Thank goodness it's finally Friday.


A children's book about Frida Kahlo, via Brainpickings.

I think articles like this only serve to perpetuate the stereotype that artists are these wild, carefree creatures who can't thrive in more conventional environments. On the contrary, I've known many artists in offices. And indeed, we should be encouraging employers to hire creative types.

Speaking of arts integration, this week I came across an article my boss wrote for Huffington Post back in December. In it he mentions the STEM to STEAM movement, which I feel like I've heard about but never really taken the time to investigate. STEM + Art = STEAM. I dig it.

CRAFT (and design and stuff)

Yesterday was my tenth wedding anniversary. I'll also be celebrating a ten-year blogiversary later this year. It's been almost ten years since I initially left Oakland for grad school in Boston. It's strange to have all this bubble up over the course of a few months, and because those ten years have passed so quickly, it's got me feeling very introspective lately, thinking a lot about my relationships, my definition of home and sense of place, and my goals for the future - personally, professionally, and ... geographically? I've called Oakland home for awhile now, and I've tried really hard to ignore my chronic itchy feet, but when the longest you've lived in one place is four-going-on-five years, it's hard to settle down.

So what does all that have to do with craft? Well, when you get engaged like this...

Yep, he hid the ring in an egg, emptied, sterilized, and filled with gelatin.

...you celebrate ten years later like this!

Eggs, Easter - get it?

I had no idea what one special thing to give Neal for this landmark anniversary up until about a week ago, when I decided to get him ten things instead, one token gift representing each year, based loosely on the traditional gift suggestions for each anniversary. Paper, cotton, leather, flowers, wood, candy, wool, linens, pottery, and tin/aluminum. I filled an aluminum tub (that we can use later for drinks when entertaining and such) with plastic, turquoise Easter eggs (our wedding colors were turquoise and red). All the little stuff I put in the eggs, with a few larger items left loose in the tub. The contents of those eggs come from the past, in terms of wedding details and things I know, after nearly 18 years together, that he likes, and reach into the future, in a sense. Zinnia seeds (our wedding flower and a native of Mexico, where we honeymooned) to plant this spring, a blank leather journal/sketchbook to fill, and wool socks to wear somewhere cooler than here (whether on a trip or a lengthier displacement is yet to be seen).  In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how to slow down the next ten years. Ideas are welcome in the comments section.

DANCE (and all the other stuff)

This is so timely as we've been talking a bit lately about the lack of organized religion in our lives, particularly as it pertains to raising children. What do you do for spiritual guidance when you're more interested in, you know, how not to be a jerk, and less interested in God and Jesus and stuff?

Fairytale Town, Sacramento

Speaking of, will you be going to church on Easter Sunday? I was raised Catholic. Mostly a holidays-only Catholic (my Mom worked on Sundays for at least part of my childhood). I went to church for a few years on my own (tagging along with a friend's family) after my Mom died, finally receiving my first communion when I was in 6th or 7th grade. At some point, I stopped going, I think after realizing that communion was my favorite part of mass not because of those tasty wafers, but because that meant church was almost over. I may have fallen asleep once or twice, too. But my lack of religion is something I think about more the older I get. I'm not sure if it's the spiritual guidance or the sense of community, but it's interesting to think about finding that in other places.

Somewhat related to all this spiritual pondering, I finally read Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question", which you can read in full online. Neal sent me the link over a year ago. I can't remember exactly why. I think we were talking about entropy and stuff, as we naturally do from time to time.

Phew, that was kinda heavy ... let's lighten things up a bit!

Did you create a "dance attack" to the song Ryan Gosling posted from the Lost River soundtrack?

Cheers to a great weekend, however you spend your Sunday (you should definitely incorporate some dancing, either way).