All great art is a form of complaint. - John Cage

Most anarchists are gentle people.
-Anna Zilboorg

Saturday, October 30, 2010

You think these photos show the love between a man and his dog,

 but they really show the kickin' sweater I knit!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Knitting in a Tornado

IUSoutheast issued a tornado warning Tuesday morning and so the whole building had to hunker down in the basement.  Some of my students can be seen here in the hallway, knitting away.  Bless their little knitting fingers!

Student Knitting

My 3D students learned to knit this month and fashioned yarn out of unconventional materials.  Here are a few samples:

 Electric wiring from a car:


Kitchen curtains:

Bed sheets:

A stripped extension cord:

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Han and I are home alone today.

Han hates having his picture taken.  He just knows nothing good will come of it.  Next thing you know, she'll want to clean my ears. Pleaseohpleaseohplease stop looking at my ears.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Morning Mugs

A favorite morning mug sent in by TT!  Send yours!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Finn named the mini-Border Collie mix "Hulk", so Hulk it is until I hear differently from his new foster mom, Lynne.  I am waiting to hear how Hulk does over the next few days.  He set upon her elder cat, Puddin', and drew blood.  So, I am also waiting to hear how Puddin' is faring.  It is not nice to bite a one-eyed elder cat.  Especially not nice if you hope to live in her house.

Update:  Lynne writes:  Hulk walked right through the eight mobbing cats at breakfast time and didn't bat an eye.

Fingers crossed! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Remember this guy?

We busted him out!

From A Field Guide to Getting Lost:

Certainly for artists of all stripes, the unknown, the idea or the form or the tale that has not yet arrived, is what must be found.  It is the job of artists to open doors and invite in prophecies, the unknown, the unfamiliar; it's where their work comes from, although its arrival signals the beginning of the long disciplined process of making it their own.  Scientists too, as J. Robert Oppenheimer once remarked, "live always at the 'edge of mystery' - the boundary of the unknown."  But they transform the unknown into the known, haul it in like fishermen; artists get you out into that dark sea.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Passengers

This weekend's rescue passengers were Riley and Teddy.  Riley is an Irish Terrier mix and was an "owner surrender" to the shelter - he came in with massive hot spots but a winning attitude; Teddy, a Cocker Spaniel/Golden Retriever mix was also owner-surrendered, possibly due to his advanced age.  Yesterday, my mom and I drove both guys up to Chicago for a hand-off to Wisconsin Golden Retriever Rescue and Furry Bottoms Rescue.  Yay rescue groups!

PS (While pulling up for the hand-off on Chicago's north side (the Popeye's on Fullerton), I watched a cop pull his weapon and begin testing front gates.  I would have taken a photo for you, but I was too busy rolling up the windows.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Painting and Quilting

Tonya (Wagner) is over this morning knitting away.  She very much likes Chip Allen's painting:

She plans to base a quilt pattern based on it. . .

Pup in Need

I promised my students that I would post this video of a very tolerant and sweet pup at the shelter that needs some love and attention.  He looks like a mini-Border Collie in black and tan - watch the brindle puppy pit bull maul him with puppy pit bull love.

The puppy has rescue, but the black and tan boy needs help.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Morning Table

I often retreat from the family camaraderie of the kitchen table in the morning to sit in the studio.

Coffee and the internet.  Although, lately, I have tried to pause before firing up the day to watch the light, to welcome it into our home, into me.  Along with the light come at least five thoughts that call for action.  Thus ends my morning meditation. 

I could not decide on a coffee cup this morning.  I wonder if everyone has a favorite or two.  Here is my second favorite. 

You know it's your favorite if you feel disappointment when you realize that a) it is dirty or b) someone else is already using it.  Send me an image of your favorite cup:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One Whisker. . .

one whisker
one fur teacup
(Meret Oppenheim, Paris, 1936)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

More Handspun

From last night's spinning session at the Meeting House:

Much of this handspun has already been knit up according to a pattern by Wenlan Chia (aka Twinkle):

When I've finished, I expect to look like this chick:


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Fall Hats

This morning, I brought out this fall season's new hats.  I knit them in June.  They have waited so patiently for a chill in the air. 

Notice the torn blue and green cylindrical pillow behind Neil?  It is sitting on the recycling bin.  Recycling goes out Thursday night.  That pillow has 24 hrs. to convince me that its life is worth saving.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


(Me, pregnant.)

I just heard from the doctor today that I have high cholesterol (I thought, as always, that she was going to tell me I have cancer, so I am somewhat relieved).  I am now on the diet I have been meaning to go on for the last 3 years.

As timing would have it, I discovered an amazing cooking site:  Vanilla Bean Cuisine.  I am so, so excited that some one will cook virtually for me.  The Resident Chef at Vanilla Bean, Molly Pisula, was a high school classmate, so I asked her for a recipe that I could share with you.

Here's a quick mission statement from Molly:

My whole vision is around helping busy people, especially moms, cook good food, fast.  Here's one of my favorite soup recipes---perfect for the weather getting colder!

Spicy Black Bean Soup
2 T. olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T. chopped jalapeno chili with seeds (less if you don't like it spicy)
1 T. ground cumin
1 t. chipotle chili powder
1 t. smoked paprika
1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes, or Rotel, drained
3 15 oz cans black beans (2 undrained, 1 drained and rinsed)
1.5 c. low-salt chicken broth
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro (and more for garnish if desired)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
garnishes: sour cream, tortilla chips, cubed avocado, cilantro

To prepare:
Heat oil in heavy pot over medium-high heat, then add onion, garlic, jalapeno, and spices. Saute until onion is tender (about 5 minutes), then add undrained beans, chicken broth, and chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Let soup cool slightly, then blend with immersion blender until almost smooth (or puree in regular blender). Return to pot and add the can of drained beans and chopped cilantro. Cook for another 5 minutes or so and season with salt and pepper. Serve with whatever garnish you prefer---I like sour cream and avocado chunks to kill some of the heat.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Shearing Day

Tonya and I took the boys out to Sweet-Home-Spun yesterday for the shearing of the sheep.  Finn, Leo and Johnny played in the field:

The sheep in the barn queued up for their haircuts:

A large fleece. 

A shearin':


Lastly!  A recipe for kale chips that came home from preschool with Finn the other day:

1 large bunch kale
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar 
2 tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of salt (regular or sea salt)

Have your kids cut the leaves from the stems with a knife or just pinch them into bite-sized pieces.  Toss with the olive oil, vinegar and salt in a mixing bowl.  Spread them out on a parchment covered cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  I think you could even put them in at 375 for 10 minutes - they may get crispier.  It halps to turn them about halfway through the baking time.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Yesterday, my 3D Design students exhibited their wabi-sabi humble silly ambitious cammouflage projects.  Here was the assignement:

- With camera and/or sketchbook in hand, tour every accessible area of Knob View Hall.  Consider the building's architectural features (high, low, eye-level).  Do not overlook any material or spatial configuration (glass, brick, drywall, linoleum, windows, stairwells, elevators, doorways, etc.).

- Select an area of the building proportionate to your own body and consider how you might construct a wearable sculpture that will "disappear" you within your chosen area.  In other words, design camouflage meant to be worn in your chosen area of Knob View Hall.

- As you consider potential architectural niches, also consider your own body and how you will position yourself in that niche.  Will you lie down, stand up, face outwards?  Does part of your body "hide" against a wall and another part against the floor or a doorframe?

Some of the results:

Attention to details: