Monday, May 31, 2010

favorite things (31) summer vw trips on the back roads

we're back!, originally uploaded by sproutgirl74 / jenifer lake.

& i'm getting ready to take a long one in 3 days! i fly to brooklyn thursday for the renegade craft fair & meet my mister who's been making his way east. we spend a few days in nyc with friends & celebrating his birthday. then onto philly - we have tidewater, outerbanks/hatteras, eastern virginia, st louis, madison, milwaukee, ft collins, l.a., portland - on the tentative travel through list for the summer. we have 2 glorious months of camping, thrifting, back roading & hanging out with friends & letting the mind wander. i am SO ready.

i am SOOOOOOOOO ready to be in this van & breathing deep, relaxing, vacation breaths :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

favorite things (30) vintage childrens books & illustrations

i love collecting these vintage books. i always think i'll use for them collage & then i rarely do, because i don't want to cut them up (i cut up plenty of other old books for work!) the art work is always amazing & beautiful!

vintage kid book discard

fave #30/ vintage kid books & illustrations

fave #30/ vintage kid books & illustrations

le mariage du papon/ fave #30/ vintage kid books & illustrations

fave #30/ vintage kid books & illustrations

le mariage du papon/ fave #30

Saturday, May 29, 2010

favorite things (29) stripes

new shoes, originally uploaded by sproutgirl74 / jenifer lake.

i am a fan of stripes. a major fan. show me pretty much anything striped, & i love it. i would venture to say 75% of my socks are striped. stripes make the world go around.

i like striped socks too...a lot (fave things 29)

forever & always in love with stripes (fave things 29)

lost in germany...but i've got my stripes on (fave things 29)

another pair o' stripeys... (fave things 29)

yes, stripes - of course (fave things 29)

stripes are very good (fave things 29)

Friday, May 28, 2010

make me smile again (fave things 12 redux/flash mobs)

i just got really sad/bad news & this helped to make me smile & laugh & feel better. i love me some flash mob therapy.

favorite things (28) anne sexton

i fell head over heels in love with anne sexton my first year of college in poetry workshops. most of my classmates had the sylvia plath heart throb thing going on, not me, i was all about anne from the get go. in high school i had taken a female poetry class & considered myself a burgeoning writer/poet.

the spoken/written word lost some traction when i found myself walking down the visual arts path & really knew that's where i wanted to head. text/word/ramblings/snippets/the essence that is caught up in poetry i still love. when something is written just so. just so & it touches some little tremor inside that makes sense. i love that. anne sexton does that for me. i know there must be a host of other women writers that are passing me by as i immerse myself further into the visual art world...but damn, sometimes life is just too short - when do i get to sink my teeth back into the writing world while pursuing an art world dream?! never enough time! i still try to marry the two worlds, i still make work that has lots of text in it.

a former student of mine, & a super friend now is studying the written word in ny - it's very exciting to be on the periphery of her dream & i feel honored to be privvy to some of her inner thoughts & poems. my friend katrina is an amazing writer. i wish to hold a bound collection of hers in my hand and call it mine. someday i will. i love poets/writers, they are fantastically amazing & brilliant to me.

back to anne, & to the first poem i ever loved by her. it might seem a strange choice for a college freshman to attach herself too. i had no lover, nor did i have a love that was returning to his wife. but something in this piece moves me, and it still does. it's ferocious & quiet, dreamy & violent, sexy, bittersweet, angry & lovely. i have since read everything by her & her biographies. fascinating, amazing woman.

& stephanie am i remebering correctly that you were very fond of the poem her kind?

"for my lover, returning to his wife"
by anne sexton

She is all there.
She was melted carefully down for you
and cast up from your childhood,
cast up from your one hundred favorite aggies.

She has always been there, my darling.
She is, in fact, exquisite.
Fireworks in the dull middle of February
and as real as a cast-iron pot.

Let's face it, I have been momentary.
A luxury. A bright red sloop in the harbor.
My hair rising like smoke from the car window.
Littleneck clams out of season.

She is more than that. She is your have to have,
has grown you your practical your tropical growth.
This is not an experiment. She is all harmony.
She sees to oars and oarlocks for the dinghy,

has placed wild flowers at the window at breakfast,
sat by the potter's wheel at midday,
set forth three children under the moon,
three cherubs drawn by Michelangelo,

done this with her legs spread out
in the terrible months in the chapel.
If you glance up, the children are there
like delicate balloons resting on the ceiling.

She has also carried each one down the hall
after supper, their heads privately bent,
two legs protesting, person to person,
her face flushed with a song and their little sleep.

I give you back your heart.
I give you permission --

for the fuse inside her, throbbing
angrily in the dirt, for the bitch in her
and the burying of her wound --
for the burying of her small red wound alive --

for the pale flickering flare under her ribs,
for the drunken sailor who waits in her left pulse,
for the mother's knee, for the stocking,
for the garter belt, for the call --

the curious call
when you will burrow in arms and breasts
and tug at the orange ribbon in her hair
and answer the call, the curious call.

She is so naked and singular
She is the sum of yourself and your dream.
Climb her like a monument, step after step.
She is solid.

As for me, I am a watercolor.
I wash off.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

favorite things (27) my iphone's shakeit app

seriously, i cannot get enough of the shakeit application - everything looks better when shooken ;) i tried to resist the siren lure of the iphone, i did until my phone finally died this past summer & then i had to give up trusty ole verizon (which, in reality, i was going to switch to credo when that time came because they are an awesome company - drat apple for having an exclusive contract with crappy at&t) & make the switch.

but i am truly in love with my iphone, aka 'my precious' ;)

& the shakeit app? the deal. the only app i've paid for so far!

bayshore evening stop - fave 27

that pretty bay bridge - fave 27

you - fave 27

you, originally uploaded by sproutgirl74 / jenifer lake.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

favorite things (26) being moved visually

when art or film move me (which, quite honestly, is not hard to do - my sappy self is stirred easily) it makes my heart expand into that space & fill up :) this piece is one of those times:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

favorite things (25) massages

i hardly ever get massages. i always tell myself to treat myself to them - i love having them, but in reality, i can never justify the money to pay someone. i wish i did. i wish i could. i've always said, if i had a never ending supply of $$ i would pay for weekly massages & someone to clean my place :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

favorite things (24) dance

i have never been one to dance in a communal setting - on my own, in my home, i can shake my bootie for sure. or at a concert, i love to get down - but never think i actually *can* if you know what i mean. i never have considered myself adept at co-ordination or movement like what is required in dance. *however* in the past 2 years i have started to take dance lessons (not like, formal dance or the box step - no, no) i have been taking these fusion classes of hip hop, brazilian, african, haitian & a tiny bit of modern -- and i L.O.V.E. it! i've always wanted to move my body like that & even though i'm still quite UN-adept, i love it. it makes me happy. so, like lykke li says, "dance dance dance -- i was a dancer all along" i like to think i was a dancer all along, & in my 30's actually discovered that :)

ps - lyrics to 'dance, dance, dance' so appropriate :)

Having troubles telling how I feel
But I can dance, dance and dance
Couldn't possibly tell you how I mean
But I can dance, dance, dance
So when I trip on my feet
Look at the beat
The words are, written in the sand
When I'm shaking my hips
Look for the swing
The words are, written in the air
I was a dancer all along
Dance, dance, dance
Words can never make up for what you do
Easy conversations, there's no such thing
No I'm shy, shy, shy
My hips they lie 'cause in reality I'm shy, shy, shy
But when I trip on my feet
Look at the ground
The words are, written in the dust
When I'm shaking my hips
Look for the swing
The words are written in the air
I was a dancer all along
Dance, dance, dance
Words can never make up for what you do
Dance, dance, dance

Sunday, May 23, 2010

favorite things (23) blogging art ladies

i met these three diana, mati & shash (& a few other dear lady friends) through blogging. i would not necessarily have met them & been included in this amazing bay area art community of women had it not been for our blogs. i count myself lucky to have made an effort to seek them out & force them to by my friend - hee hee!

i will miss them this summer while i am out traipsing the country!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

favorite things (22) rainbows

pretty self explanatory; who doesn't like them? double sitings are even better & i feel like this past year i've seen at least 6 double rainbows. they make me take a deep breath & mentally check myself & tell little me, you are okay, everything is fine, all will be well :)

fave 22 - rainbows

rainbow over dogpatch/fave 22

Friday, May 21, 2010

favorite things (21) paris

well, i fell in love with paris. i didn't really know if i would. i had plenty of friends tell me they thought parisians were stuck up, not nice, & generally did not enjoy themselves in france. quite the contrary for me. i went for the first time in 2007, and then last year for longer. i spoke the tiny bit of french i know both times (which really is small -- enough to order, read some, get the general gist of things & ask for directions) -- everyone spoke back to me in french which i took as a high compliment. & everyone was nice to us.

i love paris. the mister told me the last time we breezed through (we had a quick 8 hour stop over from berlin to london) that i smile differently when i hit the streets of paris :) i think that's lovely - to think a certain space moves me in a particular way that it's physically noticeable.

i could wax on for a long time as to why paris is special...but really, does there need to be any other reason other than to die for eclairs? (allll the food really) -- or, because their simple baguettes, for .90 euros are so incredibly yummy.... le sigh. i have my eye on 2011 to go again. hopefully, it will happen!

ps - i just watched paris the movie with juliette binoche & thought it was great. my other all time favorite is "2 days in paris" - with julie delpy. it is seriously hilarious. (oh, well, i have to mention french kiss too, love that meg & kevin)

the mister in paris, holga style (back to fave 20 yesterday)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

favorite things (20) the holga

i love my holga camera(s). my mister taught me to shoot them way back in 1997 - i took a class with him for a wandering walkabout with the holga. i gave her a vacation for a long time, but i pulled her back out recently & i've been shooting again with her. she's super fun, unpredictable, & you can get pretty fabulous lovely accidents that occur.

i'm bringing her this summer on our travels & i know she'll travel well with me & capture some good stuff for me!

holga gal - fave 20

holga gal - fave 20

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

favorite things (19) dixie loo loo

dixie, dixie loo, dixie loo loo, dixie noodle, dixie cricket, dixie pixie -- she is my favorite doggie - not my first, i've had many, but she's the crazy shelter pup dog of my heart. she's our southern belle baby for sure since we don't have any human ones! right now i'm laid up in bed with a pulled shoulder muscle & normally she is my bedside companion during sick bed days - alas, she is roaming the country with my mister in the grey ghost vw bus until i catch up with them in early june. i'm on my own, & it is sad indeed to not have her with me!

she makes us laugh, drives us crazy, is exasperating, loving, is incredibly dependent on us (she has separation anxiety in the worst way), & we love her to death. our neighbors all love her too; she's the hallway monitor in our building.

she's 8-ish & she's the best & i wish she was laying in bed with me right now!

action dixie loo

our favorite dixie loo dog smile

dixie loo

dixie dog

& speaking of flash mobs (back to fave things 12)

this one is so touching; a bus driver in denmark is "flash mobbed happy birthday'ed" on his route :) so great!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

favorite things (18) rogue marching bands

the renegade craft fair has a bit of a tradition with having marching bands play at their events. the first one i heard was at the SF fair & this band mucca pazza from chicago - they were amazing - with crazy cheer leaders & awesome outfits. this one in austin was the minor mishap marching band & they were pretty swell too. who doesn't want to get up, get down, shake your bootie & march along with a marching band in stripey socks & killer outfits?!

ps - i have video, & if i can figure out how to upload a long one to youtube or fb or flickr, i will :)

minor mishap marching band

Monday, May 17, 2010

favorite things (17) home.

home again home again, la dee dah. so happy to be home. i love san francisco. LOVE it & when a city makes you grin like silly upon return, you know you are h.o.m.e. yes, i'm home alone, yes, i left my mister & sweet pup in austin, but i'm home. and that makes me so happy. this song by edward sharpe & the magnetic zeros defines home as being with the one you love, and that is entirely true too. i am happy to be home in all regards :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

favorite things (16) warm summer nights

The heat of long southern days kicks my ass. but the cooled down still warm summer eves of skirts & tank tops are pretty amazing. i don't get to experience them much anymore but being here in Austin has been js fabulous to get that reward after a long hot exhausting day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

favorite things (15) cute bands

like honky tonk swing gypsy bass & fiddle playing, cowboy boot & skirt & fancy stocking wearing - low down sweet voiced southern twangy drawl kinda music that shows up to play a set at your craft/art fair that you are vending at.

Friday, May 14, 2010

favorite things (14) sleeping

for realz, i'm a gal that needs her beauty sleep - i've been on a renegade craft fair frenzy & I have not been getting near enough zzzz's. i'm also i'm in austin tx for this first show - limited internets & no segue btwn my Flickr & blog to post photos via my fancy precious iPhone - so my faves will be written for the next coupla days & sans visuals :(

Thursday, May 13, 2010

favorite things (13) g&t's

g&t baby, originally uploaded by sproutgirl74 / jenifer lake.

aka "jen & tonics" around our house. hendrick's gin, extra, extra lime, 3/4 tonic (a good tonic with cane sugar, not corn syrup), 1/4 bubby water - sometimes a squeeze of meyer lemon too - drink up! you'll find me drinking these all year round. yes, i am a southern girl at heart in some ways. i canNOT wait to be drinking some g&t's with friends down in the southeast this summer :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

favorite things (12) flash mobs

i adore flash mobs & flash mobs with a cause??! sooo much better! this hotel is about a block from my school where i teach.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

favorite things (11) my mister

i could write a book about why. quite simply, he makes my world go around, even when i'm cranky, when i'm mad at him, when i don't like him -- i love him in the end the most. he's my favorite person.

Monday, May 10, 2010

favorite things (10) new endeavors

i really didn't need another thing on my life plate, but i'm excited nonetheless that my mister & me have begun a home based art exhibition space, project sprout gallery. this is my friend shash & me on the opening day of our second show in the gallery. my mister built all the walls & we clear out our daily lives to make room to show work.

we were involved in a co-op art space, wonder gallery, back east in virginia for 4 years from 97-01 & it feels really good to be back in that art showing community again. it's sort of a selfish endeavor because i want to get back to making more art work & less product based work & move my business in a bit of different direction. on that end, both shows so far have been collaborative based between myself & another female artist from the bay area. i hope to continue with some more collabs & i have my eye on doing a west coast lady art show that i curate as well...exciting new endeavors definitely make my heart beat faster :)

perhaps sometime you'll join us for an opening? our next one is scheduled for the sunday of labor day weekend - my mister will be showing a huge collection he's been working on & 2 other artist friends will be showing photographs & there is chatter of a big band playing too?! it will be fun, no doubt - mark your calendars!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

favorite things (9) my momma

my mom & me, originally uploaded by sproutgirl74 / jenifer lake.

this one goes without saying right? i don't get to see her enough, but she's a favorite of mine for sure :)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

favorite things (8) california windmills

really simple. i love these. i love what they look like on the rolling california horizon. an instant fave when i moved out here in 2001. i remember the first time i saw them. i love the power & movement & silouhette.

Friday, May 07, 2010

favorite things (7) getting the hairs cut

i used to have this cut way back when, i loved it, i bleached it, dyed it, had that cut for at least 3-4 years. i moved out here & it was crazy expensive to keep it looking good so i grew it all out. i have since found someone who knows how to cut short hair (which is half the battle) - she did an awesome job. i'll be back east this summer & dying from heat stroke, so now i have one less thing to worry about! i love this cut, so free-ing. yay!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

favorite things (6) finding quotes to love

birds/wire, originally uploaded by sproutgirl74 / jenifer lake.

2 good ones from a book i just finished:

"all, everything that i understand, i understand only because i love. everything is, everything exists, only because i love. everything is united by it alone. love is god, and to die means that i, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source." -- leo tolstoy

& particularly poignant for me right now as i struggle with with far left, far right & no middle ground with some people in my life, i am trying to hold on to this thought & get myself there:

"out beyond ideas of wrongdoing & rightdoing there is a field. i'll meet you there." -- rumi

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

favorite things (5) photoautomats/photobooths

paris 09, originally uploaded by sproutgirl74 / jenifer lake.

i love me some old school b&w photobooths (they are called photoautomats in europe). this past summer the mister & me spent two months wandering around europe & we had a mission to find these. london, paris, & berlin (oh swoooooon the ones in berlin!!) all delivered. we went a little nutty; we spent a lot of euros in those little beauties. we discovered ones that came out horizontally & ones that were square! more jems of photo strips are in my flickr stream :)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

teaching art to kids & teens (favorite things 4)

i love my job & feel insanely lucky sometimes to be able to do something that i really do love (& never thought i'd be doing). yes, sometimes they drive me to distraction, but ultimately, being able to share my excitement, love, & passion for the visual arts is super rewarding. i teach K-8, so i see them all from 5 years old, like this favorite kiddo of mine, to 14 years old -- & i've taught long enough now to see a full revolution of kids go through. i love that i am friends with several students who are now in high school and college. i love that when they leave me they will know about contemporary modern artists.

what really makes my heart beat faster? having the older ones talk to me about what they've seen, how it makes them feel, how they want to make their own & continue to make art & look at art when they move on to high school. how they have seen & recognized work & artists when they've been out & about or at museums - this is one of my penulitmate moments, when i know they get it, when i know they see that i'm trying to teach them & show them an exciting world around them -- that they can participate in it & be involved in. both as spectator & as do-er.

i could wax for a long time about this subject. suffice to say, i am a blessed person to be able to do what i do.

there are lots more photos on my flickr stream if you'd like to go take a peek at my latest huge art show i put on :)

Monday, May 03, 2010

ps - favorite things people

the participating blogging ladies of the may faves are in the side bar to the left!

favorite things (3)

the west coast beach & shore line. i cannot get enough of it. it is wild, gorgeous, breathtaking, full of treasures (heart rocks!) & it always, always does my soul good when we get out on the beautiful ocean scape to just let the eyes wander. i've been all the way north into canada & all the way south to baja into mexico. it is amazing all the way, i have a soft spot for northern california (obviously) but i am equally smitten with the oregon coast. if you have never been, it should be on your list of to do's soon! drive from the north to the south so you can be on the outside lane, & preferably, in a vw camper bus ;)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

favorite things (2)

what makes the heart beat faster? becoming bewitched by more vintage goodness than one can feast the eyes on at a flea market. & dreaming about all the homes i might outfit with all the amazing finds!

a lovely day at the alameda flea (faves 2)

a lovely day at the alameda flea (faves 2)

a lovely day at the alameda flea (faves 2)