Posts Tagged ‘veganism’


Not only are the landscape, city and people (the Icelanders and my fellow residents) amazing here, but my living situation is pretty top notch.  I have this wonderful little room.

We’re eating a lot of dinners as a group.  The ten of us residents share a kitchen and many nights someone or a pair of us will make a big dinner for everyone else.  The communal atmosphere is great.  Here Nina and Julie are fixing a fantastic meal for some of us.  To see recipes from our fellow residents, visit my and Mark’s vegan blog.

I share a studio with Nina and Klaus.  We get along very well and have been pretty productive.  We are all on similar schedules, so the sharing is working out well.  Mark took a photo of me in my studio set-up:

I am surprisingly getting some work done while Mark is here.

Iceland is creeping into my work. There is an eggshell from the uria lomvia bird (they’re harvested from the rocks and sold in markets for people to eat) and some herring from the fish festival this last weekend. And every so often I look up from my work and see view like this through the studio window:

I am so grateful for this completely fortifying experience.


…I’m on a bit of a blogging hiatus brought to you by

1) the beautiful spring weather

2) my new friend running (See why? This is the glory I see on my epic runs!)

3) the end of the school year (check out my independent study student Julie‘s excellent projects from her solo exhibition!)

4) gardening (look at our tomato plantses!) and planting/repotting and

5) A wee bit of traveling (isn’t Chicago pretty?  We also got to hug our friends’ new babies and see my folks)

5) other blogging I’m doing over at Irreverent Vegan.  Why don’t you stop over there and see what we’ve been up to?  Here’s a hint:

I’ll be sure to resume blogging in June when I arrive in Iceland in June for residency #1 for the summer (please think positive restful volcano thoughts).  That will be followed by residency #2 in August at the Philadelphia Art Hotel.  Then, I will be in the studio all fall working on a solo show to take place in Chicago in October.

I am fortunate to have been granted a Faculty Research Fellowship for the fall semester, which means I don’t have to teach or advise so that I can concentrate on my current body of work.  I will be at school periodically for committee meetings, but the majority of the fall is dedicated to preparing for that exhibition and applying for tenure.  Wish me luck!

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

peace out

With the hectic beginning of the school year, I am finding that I need certain elements in my life to keep me sane.  These are constants, but somehow I always forget about them in the chaos of life and keep discovering them when I need them most.  I need quiet time, space to think, space to make, and to remember that there’s a big beautiful world out there beyond the little ruts I dig in the ground on my daily routine.

Today, we had the pleasure of hosting good friends for brunch (tofu Mark-muffins, potato pancakes with cashew creme and apple sauce and peaches), then headed out to some hiking trails with them.  This time of year is blissful.  Before the hike, we found a strange and amazing house out in the middle of nowhere that happened to be for sale.  We walked around the grounds and checked out the old musty outbuilding:

old chair

We hiked at Cherry Hill Nature Preserve that Mark and Chad found on a recent bike ride.

Lauren, Chad and Mark on the trail


autumnal hike

Queen Anne

Studio time, reading, hot baths, tea and yoga have all been very restorative to me lately.  During the summer months, we can use the three-season room as a yoga studio.  It’s nice because it has tall ceilings, a skylight that looks up into our black locust tree and the cats like to be out there with us.

summer yoga studio

summer yoga studio

black locust skylight

But with the coming of the Michigan Winter (which deserves to be capitalized), I recently reclaimed the guest room as a space for us.  After all, guests are only here 3% of the time, so why have a room that is completely dedicated to people who don’t live here?  I have been  inspired for awhile by the yoga room created by the author of the blog Beauty That Moves:

So I decided to fold up the old futon (only to be unfolded when guests visit) and make the space into the winter yoga studio.  yoga 1

Yoga 2

yoga 3

I don’t know what’s going on lately, but I am really drawn to sleek, white household items and natural accents.  So, the new studio reflects that.  There are plenty of candles, an old laptop that doesn’t work for much, but still plays music and videos, blankets, room for yoga books, dvds and blocks.  And it turns out that the folded up futon is actually a great place to relax with a book or take a nap.  I just need a lampshade and it will be complete!


I was fortunate to guest blog about none other than… rings (of course!) on my friend Lauren’s blog Dear Golden.  She also has a top notch etsy shop by the same name through which she proffers vintage wares, and I am guilty of taking home a lot of the bounty.  I suppose I could have composed the same post for this blog, but I haven’t really written about fashion much here, and since her blog is geared toward it, specifically vintage fashion from all eras, we thought the guest blog would be a fun idea.

Lauren and I like a lot of the same kinds of vintage clothing, though her scope is much larger than mine.  Her tastes never fail to inspire me.

We have been thrifting buddies for awhile now.  I think the reason I like thifting so much is getting so much for so little.  Thifting allows one to find seemingly unique items, often in very good or excellent condition, for a low price.  I really like purchasing previously owned pieces that have a history, and in doing so, I am not encouraging the manufacture of new goods, or so I tell myself.  I know I am not alone in this practice (which, if you’re not careful can border on obsession).  And it’s not just clothing that I find in this way, but also house stuff.  We have a thoroughly thrifted house.  What isn’t thrifted is often from craigslist, garage sales, or antique stores.

Of course, buying from Dear Golden means that I am buying thrifted items, but it’s even better because I am getting hand-selected, often carefully mended clothing, about which Lauren knows the historical context.  And I’m supporting a friend too.  I model for her from time-to-time and am happy when she sends me home with “payment” in an especially cool skirt I modeled that day, or a pair of shoes.


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.