Sunday, June 3, 2012

Oliver in his nautical sweater! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Oliver On Mothers Day!

He's finally home! The most beautiful little creature I've ever seen! My baby: Ollie

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Furry Angel!

We’re going to be parents! Okay not people parent more like fuzz ball parents! On May 11th we will be bring home little Oliver, an eight week old American cocker spaniel.  We have been reading puppy books and gathering all the supplies we will need.  We also meet with our future trainer who helped us puppy proof our apartment and come up with a “puppy plan” which entails a detailed schedule that monitors his potty time so we can make sure he has as few accidents as possible.   

This is Oliver at 7.5 weeks old
Side view

Oliver comes from a breeder and we visited both his parent and him two weeks after he was born.  His parents are petite american cocker spaniels.  His mother is black, white, and tan.  His father is brown, white and tan.  We have been discussing getting a puppy for a long time now, and I can't believe we finally did.  Hopefully all our research will pay off and we will be good parents who can train Oliver well so he can live a happy stress free life. 

This is Olie at 5 weeks old (before his haircut) 

Olie between two of his brothers

Olie eating his first solid meal! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dog Bed from a Wine Barrel

My boyfriend got me a puppy for my birthday! We had been planning on getting one for a while and he went and finally did it! Clearly, I immediately wanted the finest and most unique of items for my soon to be sweet baby! While looking for dog bed ideas that would fit in nicely with our apartment d├ęcor I fell in love with a $250 one made from the bottom section of a whiskey barrel. However, no way in hell were we going to pay that much for a dog bed! I knew you could find barrels like that already cut, normally used as planters, we got ours at Blain’s Farm and Fleet for $22 (also saw them at Home Depot). Then the work really started! How to make your own dog bed:

Bolts (measure the width of your staves to find out how long you need; staves are the wooden pieces that are bound together with metal rings to make a wine barrel)
Nuts (Buy ones that are the same width as your bolts)
Drill bits (for metal and wood in the same size as your bolts)
Sharpie or pencil
Jigsaw blades for both metal and wood
Sealer (sprayable or paintable)
Sand Paper
Palm Sander (Optional)
Belt Sander (Optional)
Plastic Dip (Optional)
Wood Stain (Optional)

Step 1: Sand/scrap the inside of the barrel. Ours came burnt on the inside, so we had to scrape the black char out. We used a chisel and then a palm sander to smooth it out. Eye protection and facemask recommended. *** After scraping is done, spray (or paint) with a sealer; we used Bulls eye spray Shellac. If you don’t do this step the char will continue to transfer black onto anything that touches it.

Step 2: Buy nuts and bolts. We got carriage bolts because we liked the stud look. Use a drill bit that goes through metal, which is the same size as your bolts, to drill holes in every stave (you can do every other, but we just wanted to be sure the barrel wouldn’t fall apart when we started cutting it) Drill through the top metal ring. Hammer bolts in and secure the nuts tightly on the inside of barrel.

Step 3: Cut the excess wood off the top of barrel right above the upper metal ring, we used a hand held jigsaw. We left about .5” of wood above the metal ring for sanding down later.

Step 4: Sand down rough edges. You can do this by hand or use a belt sander/palm sander. The barrels are made of oak and it’s hard to get them to sand down smooth.

Step 5: Now decide how large you want the opening for the dog to climb in to be. We did 14” wide and decided to keep it above the second metal ring. Draw on the shape you want.

Step 6: Drill in holes for bolts and nuts into the second metal ring on the entryway boards. The purpose of this is to make sure the staves have extra support since part of the top metal ring is going to be cut off.
Step 7: Using a metal cutting blade on your jigsaw and cut the entrance for the dog bed.

Step 8: Sand the entrance so edges are smooth.

Step 9: (Optional) Stain rim of barrel to match the rest.

Step 10: Our bolts were a tad longer than we wanted and we really wanted to make sure our puppy never hurt himself getting in or out of this bed so we covered the nuts and excess bolt with liquid plastic. You can buy this stuff at hardware stores in the painting aisle in a container labeled “Plastic Dip”.

Step 11: (Optional) Seal barrel using a wood sealer like polyurethane.

Step 12: Buy or make a rounded doggy cushion to go in your new dog bed! (We’re thinking plaid!)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I have a solo Sculpture show in April!!!

I am going to be having a gallery opening on April 15th at Sparrow Collective (6-9 at 2224 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207). I sell some of my handmade items from there and they also happen to have gallery shows in the same shop and I'm the next lucky artist! I am so excited because it will be my first time showing my sculptures in Milwaukee, my first solo show, and my first time in years making a new piece!

The photos above were taken in my studio while I was working, that is the new piece I plan on showing along with some of my favorite older ones. It's still a work in progress in those photos and has a long way to go. I'm really excited about how its turning out. It draws visual references to some of my favorite artist's work including: Eva Hesse, Kiki Smith, and Petah Coyne. For the most part I don't like to explain my work and I think as a rule in general art should be able to speak for itself, but for the sake of having it out there... i'll give a few reasons for what i'm making...

This piece is made of different parts of tree branches that I wove together to form an organic mass. I like to think of the branches as a circulatory system, vein network, or something corporal. It's also going to have small hand cast wax birds. I have two colors dark purple and white, I use birds in a lot of my pieces, and I like to think of them as blood cells (white and red). I like the idea of a forced reality, for example the fact that what took me hours to create (the branch structure) happens in nature on its own without all the effort.

The piece is also going to have small crocheted circles that I made out of very thin thread; the effect is that they look like spider webs stretched between the branches (or some other type of organelle). The finishing touch will be thin gold chains draped and wrapped around the branches (ligaments or connective tissue). The overall effect will hopefully be a static non functional macabre chandelier.

When it's finished and after the show I will post pictures!

Artist statement:
My work has always been highly detail-oriented and process-based. Step by step my sculptures slowly come to life and develop meaning and structure in an intuitive way. Each piece invites the viewer to interpret it as they choose and to include their own personal mythology to each component and piece as a whole. Every sculptural component is chosen not only for its aesthetics but also for the relationship it creates when paired with another. For me, an object is unique when it is able to speak for itself.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's been going on in the studio?

I've been working on some adorable retro inspired hair pieces for everyday use or that oh so very special occasion! I made my best friends hair piece for her wedding and fell in love with the process of making them, so now I cant stop!
My touch of inspiration has come from trying to make these as cute and feminine as possible. I have even gone as far as to add tiny birds to some! I thought that there may not be much of a market for these since wearing a bird on your head, literally, may just be a bit too much, but after my product photo shoot I have completely changed my mind. I love wearing them and I love how cute they look on. Come on... you know you want a bird on your head!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

20th Century Werewolf Aesthetic!

I would like to introduce to you David Altmejd. This is my all time favorite artist. This is the kind of art you see and think...Oh my god, someone took my dreams and made them real?! How did this not come out of my mind and hands? Anyone who has created something that has been written about with the term "20th century werewolf aesthetic" is my HERO. Almost, as much as I love his work, I empathize with his view on art. In an interview he said:

I am interested in complexity as a form. I am happy when people are fascinated by the thing itself, when they are absorbed by it and know that it contains something more. Personally, I like experiencing complex objects, but not because I necessarily wish to understand the system. I am seduced by complexity itself. From my perspective, my work is intuitive. I am not able to mention specific reasons why I associate these things. I get a feeling from certain combinations, a feeling that something is going to happen when I mix things together. I do not have to say something; the object will say it. I see my installations as organisms. I start making something but at a certain point it starts making choices by itself.

He said, in a far more eloquent way, how i've always felt about my own art and art in general. Thank god for the small occurrances of brilliance that still happen in our ever vapid society.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lemon Poppyseed Bread YUM!

I made this bread and shipped it to my best of friends in Washington D.C. as a "happy your done with law school" celebration cake! It's her favorite type of cake, understandably, because it is quite the delight!

I also shipped one to Jen (the co-writer of this blog) but hers was left out in her mailbox for two weeks... so I do not believe she got a chance to enjoy it. She lives in Florida there is no saving baked goods that have been left out in the heat for that long!

Below are the ingredients and steps to create your own delightful Lemon Poppy Seed Bread!


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons poppy seeds (I added more like 5 but its up to you)

¼ teaspoons baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cups granulated sugar

2/3 cup lemon yogurt

2/3 cup butter softened

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup milk


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8x4 inch loaf pan with butter or Pam.

Mix flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Mix together sugar and flower with a stand mixer or handheld mixer. Mix at medium speed until creamy. Then add the eggs, yogurt, lemon zest, and vanilla.

Alternately add flour mixture and milk beating well after each addition until everything is moist and mixed together.

Spoon batter into pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool and enjoy with your favorite cup of tea!