Sunday, September 24, 2006

Winter is coming. I know it just transitioned to fall, but winter is always close on its heels.

I like winter. Winter brings shorter days, and I always spend more time thinking, because night always inspires such.

I hope that with this coming winter, I retain the courage to make the changes in my life that I desperately want to make.

I hope to sleep in occasionally. Under a pile of warm blankets.

I hope to have a couple hours in the evening to read on my couch with a mug of hot apple cider.

I hope to be forgiven.

I hope to be older, and mostly wiser.

I hope that I will not disappoint you. And you. And you.

I hope that you will not be angry at me.

I hope that I find really cute flat shoes.

I hope that you will learn to see me as a person.

I hope to get through this stack of half read books.

I hope to finish this project-in-limbo.And this one. And this one.

I hope that you will always be my friend.

I hope that I will resolve this. You know, this.

I hope to look certain failure in the eye and march towards it with a measure of heroic futility.

I live in California. It is always a faux-winter. Still, some things are worth hoping for.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

craftypod, yay!

If you've ever wanted to listen to me ramble on about my bears and the difference between art and craft, my interview with the awesome Diane as part of the Craftypreneur series on Craftypod is up!

Check it out!

I had such a fun time talking with Diane and she edited out most of the dumb things I said!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

this is a little bit about steve irwin and a little more about my grandmother.

I'm going to preface this by saying that this post, while going to be mostly about my grandmother, was very much prompted by the recent demise of Steve Irwin. I thought Steve Irwin would live forever. And a stingray! A stingray. This was a man who wrestled with crocodiles, and he was killed by a stingray.

One of the things I've been hearing people say the most in regards to that is "At least he died doing what he loved". Screw that. I don't want to die doing what I love. I love my job too, but I sure as hell don't want to die in any of the imaginary scenarios that I just concocted in my head. I'd rather die old and senile and a burden to the people I love at age 90, than die in a freak paint frame accident at 24.

Anyway, thinking about Steve Irwin made me think of my grandmother, who was wonderful woman who died before anyone thought she would. She was past the age of 80, sure, but she was so vibrant, and beautiful that I didn't even think she was old, and certainly not likely to die. Danila assigned us this project to create an art piece about my grandmother, and I started working on it today. It's not evolving the way I want it too. It's still a little repressed, but it's the most I can manage for now. It's a vague representation of a baby blanket, sewn in a deconstructed crazy quilt style. It has paper cranes sewn into it.

My grandmother taught me how to make paper cranes. I think I could fold a paper crane before I learned how to read. Knitting, tea and certain people calm me, but the first thing I inevitably do if I'm stressed out and there's paper around is fold a paper crane. It's almost subconscious. I fold them when I'm not stressed too.

My grandmother was a very traditional woman. She believed that I should learn how to sew, and crochet and cook(I learned two of the three - I can't crochet). She believed that there were just certain things that a girl should learn, such as how to address her elders properly, how to behave in the presence of men, and how to be...well, a good chinese woman. At the same time, she never believed that a woman's place was in the kitchen or in any way subservient to men. Her relationship with my grandfather was undeniably equal. I think that if she were still alive, she would be the only one out of my extended family who would be happy for me and what I'm choosing to do with my life. She probably wouldn't give me crap for not dating good chinese boys either, and certainly not for not marrying them by now.

She never stopped my parents from punishing me. She would watch quietly, as they administered the cane, and then when she felt it was enough, she would pull them aside quietly, without drama or hysterics, and merely say "that should be enough". She stayed with us a lot when I was younger, but she never interfered with the way my mother chose to run her household, even if she didn't always agree.

She would insist that her mother was actually Japanese, although none of my other relatives believed it because of a long standing grudge against the Japanese. My mom believes it and I believe it. She was the least racist of them all.

She taught me how to sew, but she never insisted that I sew what everyone else thought I should. I made toys. Useless things. She let me. She taught me the rules that a woman should live by, and then whispered in my ear that rules were meant to be broken.

And she taught me how to make paper cranes. She taught me that something as ordinary and ephemeral as a receipt, or a chocolate wrapper or a scribbled on post-it note could become something else. Something sorta pretty. I've tried to figure out other origami things, but I keep on coming back to paper cranes. We can probably take it as a metaphor for the fact that the simplest, boring most humble objects can be always be transformed into something else, but I suppose what it really comes down to is that she taught me how to fold paper cranes and I still do it all the time and I really think that my grandmother was one of the most awesome women to have ever existed. But it didn't stop her from dying and I feel stupid for feeling angry about it. She died what - seven years ago? - and I'm still angry about it.

Monday, September 04, 2006

quick update

Just wanted to let y'all know that I'm alive and well. School has started up again which is making everything a little bit crazy, especially when you throw work and personal projects in the mix.

I have a couple bears waiting to be photographed and put up on the site, so that'll be coming soon. And some new not-necessarily-bear items are coming soon that I'm very excited about!