Wednesday, February 22, 2017

F&*king Block


Lately, all of my personal writing has been shit. Every time I attempt something in this space, I am disappointed, frustrated. It is full of navel-gazing, self-indulgent crap.

I have been stuck in my art as well. I left a painting on my easel for too long, one I had been struggling with. Every time I looked at it - which was often because it was sitting out in the open - I felt discouraged and doubtful about my abilities.

But I am slowly easing back into things.

I took that painting off the easel.

I played around with some supplies to create my One Little Word album covers.

I carved some stamps.

I always manage to get back to my creative self, but the prospect can seem daunting when all signs point to having lost it.

I have to learn to trust in myself.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mini (Mini) Album

I think I set the bar high last year for a new Christmas tradition.

Here, let this righteous "vlog" do the explaining!

- Corner rounder
- Random paper cut down to 3" x 4" (can also use Project Life or other pocket scrapbooking cards)
- Packing tape
- A couple of small embellishments or sticker letters
- Adhesive (my go-to is Sookwang)

Step By Step (ooh baby)
1. The most important steps are getting the photos and getting the writing. I used my Instax instant camera, but honestly you could just take photos of all your people, and print them later. Remember to take all the photos in the same orientation (landscape or portrait) to make it easier to create the album later.

Since I knew I wasn't going to see both sides of the card, I used some of my old one-sided business cards. The paper is really nice, and it's a shame to let them go to waste! Don't give your people a huge sheet of paper because that is guaranteed to overwhelm, and make them feel like they have to write a damn novel or something. A couple of sentences at most is all I asked for.

2. Since mine was a "Christmas theme", I went through my meager stash of Christmas themed supplies, and pulled paper from there. But honestly, use what you have. I used sparkly papers for the covers because I like gold sparkly paper yo.

If you want to use cards already cut down to size, assemble those. Enough so each picture and card gets a side.

3. Cut all of your paper down to size. I like the smaller size of this album because a) I wanted it to be a small keepsake and b) My Instax photos and the similarly sized cards fit just right! But make it whatever size works for your photos and journaling cards.

Corner round those suckers! Cause it makes it look so fancy schmancy.

4. Decide on your order of cards, photos, and papers and then BIND THEM!

I bind you paper. Bind you from doing harm against others and harm against yourself.

Grab your packing tape. Unroll a little bit, enough to mostly cover the edge of your paper, and cut it. Line it up to one side of your paper and stick it down. Now, butt your other page against the first one and stick them together.

This is honestly a shitty description and I should really do a video showing how I do this step. But I trust y'all and bet you can figure it out on your own.

5. Keep going until you have all your pages taped together. Then adhere your photos and journaling cards to the pages.

6. Embellish the covers as desired, and call it a night!

This was such a fun project to put together, but ultimately I am just SO STINKIN HAPPY that I got photos of and words from some of my favourite people. This is honestly going to become a treasured Christmas tradition.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Lisa Reads 2017 - A Book To Set The Tone For The Year

I firmly believe that the first book or two I read in a year, really sets the tone not only for my reading list for the remainder of the year, but for where I put my energy and my focus in my daily life.

And this year was no different. In fact, I've got TWO books on the go right now that are setting my tone and my intentions for the year.

Thanks to Happy City, I want to actively seek out other books that remind me of this one. And that continue my exploration into sustainable, efficient, and future-thinking city planning. I can already feel that this topic is going to be a big deal for me this year.

"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody." - Jane Jacobs

"Everyone of us has the power to alter our city." - Charles Montgomery

I already decided that I wanted to read more books by POC in 2017, so I am glad I am starting the year off with an amazing science fiction black lady author! Octavia Butler was a game changer in her time, winning science fiction awards that usually only white dudes had won before. Her books combine science fiction & fantasy with themes of race/racism, sexuality/sexism, and other heavy modern tropes. I've only read two of her titles, but I'm (mentally) putting her entire back catalogue on my TBR list.

"Most of us don't have to worry about being shot if we poke our noses outside. So we are comfortable, but the people I'm writing about are definitely not comfortable, and being shot while they're still inside is a good possibility."

"I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining."

TBR Pile:
The Option of Urbanism by Christopher Leinberger
Retrofitting Suburbia by Ellen Dunham-Jones
Cities for People by Jan Gehl
Naked City by Sharon Zukin
Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes ed. Adrew Blauvelt
Wild Seed by Octavia Butler
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

Note: Most of the books I could find about urbanism, sustainable cities, etc. were written by old white guys, and as I am trying to limit their presence on my book list for 2017, I will continue to search for titles by minorities. And thanks to events happening in the US today (ugh shudder he-who-shall-not-be-named), I have already started adding titles to my TBR that involve resistance, feminism, civil rights history & activism and more.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Big Messy Flowers + Vintage Vinyl Stand

There is nothing quite like finishing a fun project and then waiting 6 months to blog about it...

I received this perfectly beautiful vintage vinyl stand from my friend Erika (cause she knows I like old things + records), but the top was kind of un-useable for like putting things on and stuff.

So I had my trusty carpenter BFF cut a top to fit. We attached it to the metal brackets on the shelf using some other brackets and screws underneath. And then I had a top. But that wasn't where my plan ended...

...obviously, or else that would be a really boring blog post.

I mean, the actual blog post resulting from this project is going to be borderline boring, but here we are. Can't split hairs anymore. Gotta just roll with it.

Here we go!

(My living room has been re-arranged 2-3 times since these photos were taken...I have a problem...)

I'm not a fan of sharing my (failed) DIY projects on the blog anymore, but I think this counts more as sharing my art, which I am definitely a fan of!


p.s. For a laugh, try searching the DIY label on the right there. Ugh, what was I even thinking?!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

December Daily 2016

OMG you guys! This is the first time I have EVER FINISHED a December Daily since I started making them many years ago! Like, not just the first I finished right away or whatever. This is the ONLY finished DD album I have! And I am just so stinking excited about that!

It definitely helped that I made it as stupidly simple as I possible could. I bought numbers that all matched. I used an album that restricted me to one (or a couple) photos per day, without the ability to add any memorabilia or embellishments.

I was so excited that I decided to make a video about it.

Also, I would much rather talk at y'all, than type at y'all.