Posts Tagged ‘food’

Fixing the Sky part 2: the gatherings

The opening of Fixing the Sky on Thursday night was well attended. People really seemed to like the work and there were two entrancing sets of music by Brett Hool, half of the singer-songwriter duo Hool, managed by our new friend Yannick. They brought a video of Brett’s that played in the background, which added another dimension to the exhibition/performance.

There was a lot of wine, new friends, and a fun kaleidoscope to play with (see the amazing image of Yannick below). Nicole and I were both surprised when old friends from grad school showed up.  My childhood friend Meghan, now an attorney in Manhattan, also trekked down to Brooklyn for the festivities and was kind enough to host me for the five days I was in New York. Brick & Mortar (Helen’s loft) was a perfect setting for the event.

Helen, me and Nicole in front of the Island Projects installation Fixing the Sky. Check out my and Nicole’s site for more images of the installation.

Saturday morning, we hosted a brunch. It was wonderful to see the show in the daylight. We had a good crowd at that event as well, including friends from Michigan, Jen and Walter. Jen had video work in the Media Lounge at the concurrent College Art Association conference. Walter was pleased that a childhood friend, who lives only a train stop away in Brooklyn, was able to make it to the brunch.

Thanks to Nicole for flying in from Iceland, Helen for hosting and organizing, to Hool and Yannick for lending their talents and to everyone who came out. It was great to meet and see so many wonderful people!

corner studio

David and Nannette were kind enough to loan me a space in their flat to use as a drawing studio while I’m here.  So far, we’re spending a lot of time editing video and making work–with some feasts here and there for good measure.  Tomorrow we’re off to the hardware store to get installation materials.  Then we’re headed to the Glenn Brown exhibition at the Ludwig Museum.

back in Budapest

the entrance to our "office"

I wanted to write a long-ish post (with photos) about all of the fun I’m having during my week-long stay in Budapest, but the wireless network in my and Nannette’s “office” (i.e. a large, decadent cafe) won’t deign to allow the uploading of a bunch of images. So for now, I will just be posting one image per visit to the office.  A longer post will have to wait until I’m back in the States.  Some highlights so far include lots of artmaking, insomniac house chickens, a completely affectionate little cat named Mitsy, plenty of good food, and BIG BIG plans.  More to come!

because I can

If I’ve been remiss in blogging, it’s only because I’ve been blogging.  I’ve been helping Mark with Irreverent Vegan a lot lately.  There’s so much food-related stuff to do this time of year, what with putting the gardens to bed, buying up boatloads of tomatoes at the farmer’s market for canning, making pesto from end-of-season basil, etc.  Mark made swoon-worthy pesto and tomato pasta and baked green tomatoes last night.  Check out our action on that blog and let us know what you think.

So, some stuff has been happening on the art front as well.  Mark and I stretched this monster last week:

a big 'un

Though sadly it was a rainy day when we stretched it and the humidity affected it.  It was tight as a drum when I left the studio last Thursday.  When I returned to the studio, it was as wrinkly and saggy as all get-out.  Great sadness ensued.  For me.  Then after about ten minutes of moping, (and since I have a painting due for a show in December) I got my stuff together and started painting on a different canvas.  I altered my Photoshop mock-up to be suited for a vertical rather than a horizontal format and shazam! I’m back in business.  This painting involves big circles, for which I fashioned a very high-tech compass out of a brooch, some string and a sponge brush.  Macgyver,  eat your heart out.

I also co-curated an exhibition at EMU called Contemporary Painting, which I’m really happy with.  More on that later.

And, because our cats have been so dang photogenic lately, a bunch of cat photos.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

a handsome man


kitty unity

cat in a bag

complements please


I haven’t been able to write in awhile because of all of the end-of-summer activity going on right now.  I wanted to post about my weekend trip to Quincy, Illinois.  Why yes, that is the famous site of the Lincoln/Douglas Debate.  Glad you mentioned it.  I went because I wanted to see two dear friends from grad school who are seldom in the same place when I have time to travel to them. This time the stars aligned to make it so, such that Thursday I found myself aboard my first ever U.S. passenger train headed toward Quincy via Chicago.  It was a wonderful weekend of art, friends, good food, catching up, and a  lot of laughter.  I stayed at the impeccable 1914 bungalow of friends Jen and Todd and got to hang out with their kiddos Trevor and Joel.

Jen and Todd's home

Of course I was inspired by the people I was with, but since I am always mesmerized by other peoples’ spaces (thus my infatuation with sites like The Selby, Apartment Therapy and magazines like Dwell), I thought I would post about it.  Jen and Todd (and even her parents) worked hard to make their basement into a space where Jen would want to have a studio and where the boys can play year-round.  They sealed the walls, cleaned up a lot and spray painted the heck out of the ceiling.  The result is a clean, crisp space with painted walls, floors, beams and trim that coordinates with the rest of the house.

Jen's studio with completed and in-progress paintings

Jen's studio with completed and in-progress paintings

Jen's latest painting

Jen's latest painting

To see more images of her work, visit her website.

The boys' "studio"- I love the colorful art lining the walls!

The boys' "studio"- I love the colorful art lining the walls!

The occasion for my visit was our friend Kelly‘s exhibition at the college where Jen teaches and runs the gallery.  I got there too late to attend the opening, but did get there in time to: attend (even help out with)  Kelly’s mural painting workshop, go to the farmer’s market, do some thrifting ($25 pair of Lane end tables- score!), enjoy several delicious meals, play soccer with a pair of squirts, partake in raspberry AND lemon sorbet at a sci-fi/horror themed ice cream parlor (Eye-Scream anyone?).

farmer's market flowers

farmer's market flowers

Indian corn

Indian corn

Saturday night we were awestruck by a breathtaking sunset.

sunset in the Q

sunset in the Q

Here’s my attempt at one of the photos that inspires Jen’s paintings:

sunset bridge

Even with 18 hours on a train, it was a very complete and restoring weekend.


Apparently a lot can happen in a 36-hour whirlwind trip to Toronto.  We left late Friday morning and returned to Ypsi by 11 p.m. the next night.  The occasion was our friend Simon’s visit to see us this weekend.  He had never been to Toronto and since it’s such a vegan-friendly place, we decided to go and eat everything in sight.  I was lax in my picture taking on Saturday, but I did snap some photos Friday night.

Mark enjoying an avocado mint smoothie at the Calico Cafe

Mark enjoying an avocado mint smoothie at the Calico Cafe

tags and flowers

tags and flowers

night spinning

night spinning

house crying a rainbow

house crying a rainbow

art in a storefront window

art in a storefront window

In 36 hours we hit up Calico Cafe where we et up beautiful appetizers, dinners, and even had a smoothie, Get Real Cafe for a fantastic vegan brunch of waffles, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, and a tofu scramble plate for champions, Buddha’s Vegetarian Food for GIANT portions of Hong Kong style veggie food that Mark will still be eating for lunches the next few weeks, and Fresh for take-away salads, a chocolate chunk cookie, a divine date bar and smoothies!  Oh the smoothies!  I had a Shamrock shake made out of mint, banana, rice milk, matcha tea, and agave nectar- oh man!

We rode bikes everywhere, which was very handy.  We stopped in an art supply shop, a couple of galleries and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA).  We consumed vinyl and wearable sundries at local Toronto shops: Soundscapes and Rotate This for records and cds and Preloved for reconstructed shorts, shirts and skirts. We also stopped into 69 Vintage, where for once I managed to keep from buying something.  I do have a stunner of a coat from there procured on a previous trip, however.

Not bad for 36 hours eh?

Vegan Brunch

Sunday we hosted a vegan brunch at our house.  Our friends Ryan and Val brought tons of good eats too.  Mark has already posted about it over at Irreverent Vegan.  Ryan and Val did a great write-up on it (from which I nabbed this photo) on their blog i’m just doing this thing.  Their about page is pretty funny, so check that out too!

brunching it up!  for photos of food- visit those other two blogs pronto!

brunching it up! for photos of food- visit those other two blogs pronto!

Indie in Ypsi: Shadow Art Fair (part 2: the people and the place!)

So, that last post would have gotten out of hand if I had included everything I want to write and show, so I decided to break it into two posts.  And now for part 2!  This year’s poster and t-shirt were designed  by the amazing and talented Melissa Dettloff (aka Mad Dog) who just happens to be my friend and studiomate.  The shirts and posters were printed by the ubiquitous VG Kids.

Mad Dog

She's clearly pleased her design was chosen.

Here’s a quick look around the fair: Shadow Art Fair in progress

head in the Corner

people shoppin

checkin out the wares

the mervelous Amelia and her new lavender-scented skunk friend

the mervelous Amelia and her new lavender-scented skunk friend

A couple of booths I’d like to feature:

Sarah Bradstreet, working it at the Broad Street booth

Sarah Bradstreet, working it at the Broad Street booth

the lovely Maria working the Swipple! booth

the lovely Maria working the Swipple! booth



Their booth debuted a sleek new design this year for maximum art viewing (and therefore purchasing).

And then there was the food!  This vegan was pleased as punch about Jennifer Albaum’s Chips and Cheeeze which rocked to a sold-out audience.  Thankfully, you can find the recipe over at her blog Scumpdilly.

Jennifer serving ups Chips and Cheeeze!  We had ours with lotso jalapenos...

Jennifer serving ups Chips and Cheeeze! We had ours with lotso jalapenos...

Mark Maynard was also signing people up for his Cycle Powered Cinema project.  Mark (my man) has volunteered to help out.  MM was posting to his blog live during  the SAF, which is pretty funny.  There’s even a bathroom video interview with Ryan Groendyk, one of the meisters in charge of the Shadow Brew which sadly got all drunk up before we made it back for our second visit for the day.  I hear it was pretty amazing and…”weird” (hey, that’s Ryan’s own description).

As twilight fell, Manhole rocked some Chuck E. Cheese-style limbo action outside under a glorious sky.

Manhole and beer drinkin


I hope you had fun!  (I know I did)

Indie in Ypsi: Shadow Art Fair (part 1: the loot!)

So like a carnival sweeping through town, the Shadow Art Fair descends on Ypsilanti, Michigan twice yearly.  The summer SAF in July always has an especially festive air, as there are longer daylight hours (as opposed to the December SAF) in which to enjoy it and the opportunity to spill into the Corner Brewery‘s outdoor beer garden after supporting local and regional craftsters, artists, and creative peoples.  So, of course “supporting” means buying up a bunch of stuff, and if one is going to “go consumer”, the SAF is the place to do it.  I go a little bit nuts each time I go, buying gifts for others, but mostly for our home…and for me.  I deserve it, right?  So, this post is about the spoils I plundered this time around and is an opportunity to give a shout-out to those artists who caught my eye long enough to catch me digging into my wallet.  Props to Mark for picking out cool stuff with me and being patient with my spendy self.Shadow SpoilsFrom left to right, the ceramic pieces of Christina DeAngleo are so lovely we bought four exquisite little shot glasses and one stein with a bug drawn onto it.  Never underestimate the importance of a large mug for holding lotsa steaming hot droughts come  the cold Michigan winter.  The earrings are handmade by the b-line, a jewelry designer who uses mostly polymer clay, but I snapped up these beaded little brassy bluebells.  The t-shirt is by Great Lakes Shirts.  Mark got one last year and this year, it was my turn.  Now I can pay tribute to the more watery parts of these northern mid-western states of ours.  The painting is by Jason Wright.  Mark and I have wanted one of his pieces for a long time now, and finally have brought one home.  Jason runs Swipple!, an online and often actual art exhibition space where he features artists from all over, but especially regional artists and sometimes outsider artists.  Jason also works closely with Michigan prisons.  He works to get the inmates’ artwork seen and has curated several successful exhibitions of prison art.

Whenever we bring home new stuff, the cats get into investigatory mode.  Ramona wanted to be sure that I feature a close-up of some of the stuffz:P1020198

P1020210Wobbly Bob doesn’t care about the stuff, he just likes the paper it’s wrapped in.  He favors hunkering down in a little nest of it.

After speaking to a bunch of people at our vegan brunch yesterday (more on that later), it was agreed that a highlight of the fair was the booth of Broad Street: “jewelry for the eco-fabulous.”  And man is it ever!  I bought an amazing chainmail neckercheif creation off the neck of some poor girl who was trying it on, but karmicly, another girl snatched a necklace out from under me a little later, so the universe is working as it should.  If you ever see Sarah Bradstreet selling her wares, be sure to snap up what you want early on, because it gets gone!  Here’s a photo of me modeling the first item I bought:P1020172

Two more sellers deserve some props.  Sally England of SED (Sally England Design) had a really eclectic booth with faux bois printed plush logs, felt Michael Jackson portraits and these amazing golden t-rexes, one of which had to come home and join the menagerie in the kitchen window box:

P1020298The other artist is is Lori Brown, who as Morninglori, makes up wonderful stories about imaginary beings and makes them come to life in her sculpted and plush creations.  We bought some as gifts, so I can only show the tippity tip of an ear so’s not to blow any surprises, but if you visit her etsy site, you’ll get the idea.

Morninglori!Now that we’ve indulged me by reveling in my post consumer bliss, next up: the people and place of the Shadow Art Fair.  I haven’t even mentioned the Chips and Cheeeze yet!

summer eats

Summer is giving Mark and I time to enjoy cooking together and though we both love it, he especially excels.  He just started a vegan blog as the Irreverent Vegan.  He composes the pithy recipes and I help out with the cooking, ideas, photography and…man, is it hard but someone has to do it…the eating!  We’re hosting a vegan brunch at our house this Sunday morning following the wonderful Ypsilanti-based Shadow Art Fair at the Corner Brewery.

I am fortunate that a typical meal at our house looks like this:

Chick Patties and Smashed Potatoes

chick(pea) patties and smashed potatoes

chick(pea) patties and smashed potatoes with mushroom gravy

The lettuce on the burgers and the green beans on the potatoes come from our garden.  Deck and lanterns compliments of our friend Blue at Blue Sky Carpentry.