pegkerr: (Default)
Delia's home for the holidays, which means it's manicure time. Since it's the holiday weekend and I don't have any job search meetings set for awhile, I can be a bit more whimsical. Today's theme: The Marauders' Map. I did it this time. Got a little wobbly on my right thumb, but I re-did it and it looks all right. Rather pleased with the overall effect.

Delia's is more artistic, featuring fall-colored dots and a turkey.

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Week 7: Fall
The beautiful and familiar are falling away, leaving bare spaces for winter's approach.

Week 7 Fall

I think this may be one of my favorite cards I've ever made.

The original title for this was 'Leaf Fall' which I originally visualized as one word and then realized that wouldn't work. And because I'm limiting myself to just one word as titles for these cards, I played around until I realized that 'Fall' could refer both to the season and the falling of the leaves. Excellent.

One of the impetuses for this was a discussion I had with Delia about an art project she was working on for her Introduction to Drawing class. She was to draw a common object (she used a hole punch) and then draw it different ways over the course of fourteen days, using a different medium each time. The trick is to keep finding new ways to convey the object when you start to run out of ideas. I suggested that the line could be conveyed by negative space. Two of the ideas I gave her were 1) to use pinpricks through the paper to outline her subject, and then 2) to use cut outs: negative space in other words, like you see in some of the marvelously ornate pumpkins that people have been carving the past several years for Halloween: you suggest the line of an object by illuminating what's around it.

The autumn here has been gorgeous, and the fall colors just about reached their height last week. Even as I was enjoying the colors, I've been feeling increasingly uneasy about what's coming next. I was struck by the very strong correlation between what I'm going through, with this job search, and the leaf fall all around me. When I was laid off, I had my severance period, I could enjoy my suddenly free time, take walks, visit with my family, etc. A lot of people who are laid off initially treat this time as a mini vacation. But I'm aware that world I lived in of my job (routines, friendships, tasks) has fallen away. It felt a little unreal at first, but it really feels real now. My severance period will eventually be coming to an end, and then my income will drop precipitously when I go on unemployment. And if I can't find a job then...

So I see the beautiful leaf fall and at the same time, the bare spaces left behind that are growing. Winter is coming. Hard times are coming. Have I stored up enough acorns to see my family through?

I loved, loved, loved making this card, and to do so, I used a method I've never tried before. I cut out small delicate leaves from my collected images, but instead of gluing them on the card, I used them as templates; I laid them over the card and drew tiny brush strokes of paint away from the leaf edges, first in white and then with a wash of autumnal colors over the white (the color on black alone wouldn't have shown up). Then I peeled the leaves away, leaving the finely edged outline of a leaf behind. Finally, I added a few, spare touches of gold.

I had a tough time capturing a good scan of the card with the scanner app I have on my iPod touch. Reflections of light on the black kept washing out the paint. Finally got a good one on my screened in porch (indirect light) and toned down the brightness to make the scrim of white reflection disappear while keeping the leaf color true, but that made the card look almost as if it is deep purple rather than black. Then I had to monkey with other parameters to make the card look black again.

Made this card yesterday, as part of a lovely day I spent with [ profile] minnehaha K. Thanks for the use of your paints! And I really enjoyed your company.
pegkerr: (Default)
Courtesy of Delia again:


I was a wee bit impatient and put the top coat on before the stamped flowers had entirely dried so they are slightly smeared. Perfection constantly recedes beyond the horizon.

Poor Delia. She spent so much time on my nails that she got impatient with hers and packed up her stuff while they were still drying and wrecked her own manicure. I paid her for mine as a mini consolation. She'll do her own again today.

These mother-daughter manicure sessions have been a nice way for us to bond.

And now I have a yen to pick up lots of little bottles of nail polish at the drug store. I have NEVER been into manicures before. This is the first time in my entire life that I have had three manicures in a row, with no bare nails in between.
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Manicure week two, again, courtesy of Delia.


Jul. 2nd, 2015 06:00 pm
pegkerr: (Holy Tree with Candlelight)
I like my new ring, and the manicure that Delia gave me to show it off.

pegkerr: (The beauty of it smote his heart)
Delia has been learning jewelry-making from [ profile] elisem for the past six years. Elise is having an on-line sale, and for the first time, some of Delia's work is being offered, too. Delia's pieces will be available for only one week, so take a look and if you see something you like, grab it now! Delia would be thrilled to make a sale, so I hope you will stop by to check it out. At the very least, she would love comments on her work. Thanks!

See here.
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I asked Delia to create a piece of art which I could hang in my cubicle at work, based upon the Two Trees poem by William Butler Yeats that means so much to me. The idea would be to have something she could add to her portfolio. This print is what she came up with:

The Holy Tree

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Helena (Delia) and Hermia:




Puck makes mischief:


And as a result, Helena is not happy:


Other pictures from the show )
pegkerr: (Default)
and she wants followers. Please check it out and leave comments to encourage her.

Life of a Closet Fashionista.

Also on Twitter at @Clstfashionista.
pegkerr: (Delia)
Two items of wunderbar news came down this week: first of all, Delia has landed HER DREAM JOB. Why yes, she is going to be working part time at Michaels, the craft store. She's only wanted to work there since she was eight.

Secondly! A part in a play! And not just any play, but a really major role: she is going to be playing Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream. She received news that she had the part and she wavered a bit, wondering if she could handle it, along with classes and the job. But she's decided to go for it. We're just thrilled for her.

Kudos to Miss Delia from her proud parents.
pegkerr: (Default)
I went to pick up Delia from her summer job at a print-making center this afternoon. She was very tired, leaning against the window of the car as I drove as we chatted. My route home took me past a local neighborhood mural, and I pointed it out to her; I liked how the artist has set a mosiac of tiny mirror tiles to pick out the shape of a snowflake.

"Yeah, I really like that mural," she said.

"We have a lot of nice murals in south Minneapolis," I agreed. "I've been noticing them lately."

"Yeah. And the electric boxes."

I looked blank. "Electric boxes? What are you talking about?"

"Oh. I mean the electric utility boxes they have at the street corners where there are street lights. Lately I've been noticing that they've been covering them in art."

A minute later we drove by this one, and I saw what she meant. I had never really noticed these utilitarian structures before, but there they were:

utility wrap

"There's one further down that is covered with red and yellow tomatoes. I love that one." We passed it a moment later and I saw what she meant. I loved it, too. [picture found online].


So I came home and did a little Googling and I found this: a call for artists to submit works to put on the electric utility boxes. It's apparently a joint project between several of the neighborhood associations and the power company. Here's another article about the intiative with another neighborhood association. These utility boxes are a frequent target for graffiti taggers, and often gang symbols are used, starting a sort of artistic tug of war between rival gang factions. The art is installed around the boxes using a wrap that cleans off easily. So the purpose is twofold: to decrease graffiti and to add another artistic canvas to the neighborhood.

I did a little more googling. Apparently, this is an initiative which is springing up in other cities as well. I'm a little ashamed that I had never even noticed, yet I drive by these utility boxes every day.

Thanks to Delia, I'll take the trouble to notice them from now on.
pegkerr: (Default)
Delia is thinking in terms of colleges now. She knows that she wants to apply to schools where she can study an arts emphasis, and that means starting to build an artist's portfolio. I had a scathingly brilliant idea: I told her I would commission an art piece for her to display in my office cubicle. I wanted something that would display her skills as an artist and something that would make me happy when I look at it.

So I decided to commission a picture of The Holy Tree, the concept that has been so important to me from Yeat's poem The Two Trees. She started talking about initial concept with me last night, and had a cool idea for three little mini pen and ink drawings to the side and then the main piece would be larger. I'm excited to see what she comes up with. I will pay her when it is completed, so it is a real artist commision. And she'll have something to add to her portfolio!

This is one of the ideas I suggested as an influence: Tolkien's conception of the Two Trees of Creation:

Telperion and Laurelin, the Trees of Valinor
Telperion and Laurelin, the Trees of Valinor

My holy tree will have both flowers and fruit, and I told her I particularly like the trumpet-shaped flowers on the golden tree here.
pegkerr: (Default)
Delia has been involved in painting a neighborhood mural. From the Articulture website here [see more pictures of the mural in progress there at the link]:
In the wake of last year’s tragic fatal shooting at Seward Market [a triple homicide at a local convenience store], “Seward Stands Together” signs are still visible in windows all around the neighborhood. In 2010 Articulture secured a grant from COMPAS to facilitate a youth public art project create a mural on the side of Seward Market. Realizing a need to both memorialize the three Somali men who died and to celebrate this diverse community. Our hope is to create a celebratory photography mural to bring together those directly and indirectly affected—giving community members an opportunity to heal while honoring and celebrating the increasingly diverse community in Seward.

During the project (May 31st through July), we will be posting updates, photos, and opportunities for community support on here on our website, our Facebook page, and the Seward e-democracy forum. We also welcome thoughts and comments via e-mail at
Because of the high profile story behind ArtiCulture creating the mural, ArcStone is making a 4 minute documentary of this community project. This is a little teaser the two guys working on it, Dan and Nick, put together. I can't quite tell whether that's Delia in the orange T-shirt (glimpsed from behind the shoulder, low) But I think so; it might be. [confirmed: that's her]. At any rate, she's part of the work crew.
pegkerr: (Delia)
Happy birthday to my lovely artist girl [ profile] ooh_pretty_mine. Whether it's creating a Snape teapot cosy, a beautiful dress, amigurumi, a knitted purse or pining after an electric guitar, you must always be doing something. Life with you is never boring!
pegkerr: (Hardcore pretty)
Fiona graduated last Friday, and we had our open house on Sunday.

Here is the beautiful dress that Delia sewed for Fiona to wear under her graduation robes:

The sisters together )

The graduate and her family (Delia, me and my parents)!

Fiona's high school graduation June 3, 2011
Fiona's high school graduation June 3, 2011

With the Boy )

At the party, we had a taco bar )

We also had a chocolate fountain )

We gathered in the backyard )

Here's a great picture of relatives from Rob's side of the family )

After the party, she was all tuckered out )
pegkerr: (Default)
I haven't posted since Christmas since, for all practical purposes, it's still going on for us. I have to go to work this week, but my family has been gathering every night in the evenings.

Here are some pictures from Christmas morning:

Christmas morning 2010
Christmas morning 2010

More Christmas pictures )

Here's a video showing Delia's reaction when we gave her her biggest gift )
pegkerr: (Default)
Depression has really not been an issue at all, and I'm attributing it to my starting to take fish oil capsules very faithfully about a month ago. [ profile] naomikritzer mentioned about a year ago it was good for depression, and I was like yeah, yeah, whatever. But I started it up recently solely to help my HDL/LDL ration. And the depression has miraculously lifted. I dunno if it's placebo effect, but whether it is or not, hey, I'll take it. I feel great. Is this what people feel like usually? Wow.

BUT I have been exceedingly distracted by a couple real personal life issues, which is why I haven't been posting much the last week or so. As a result I also haven't been reading my friends list/reading list much. The kerfuffle over Diane Gabaldon's rant against fanfiction is interesting, but I have to put my emotional energy elsewhere, kittens. Let other people spill their bytes over this. I have other fish to fry at the moment.

My parents are moving to Minneapolis from Georgia! Yay! The movers came to get their furniture today. Hopefully they'll be up here for good by Mother's Day. I will be so happy (and relieved) to have them here in town and wow, local grandparents for the kids! That's a first. Alas, it finally happens the year before Fiona leaves for college.

Fiona is having the Week From Hell (AP exams. Multiple.)

Rob is very busy with the Census. They keep finding work for him to do. Yay.

Delia made a dress the other day out of four T-shirts. I'll post a picture of it when I can. She has been burning through a dizzying array of artistic modes of expression this past week: hair dressing, painting fingernails, and now reconfigured T-shirt fashion.

I was going to start biking to work this week, but Something Came Up (having to do with that real life personal issue) that has pushed back my start date, possibly a couple of weeks.
pegkerr: (Snape Yay)
Look at my birthday pressie from Delia! A Severus Snape Potter Puppet Pal tea pot cozy!

Thanks to [ profile] chirosinger who taught her how to make it!

pegkerr: (The beauty of it smote his heart)
If you missed the article in yesterday's Star Tribune, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is collecting art from ANYBODY who is a Minnesota resident this weekend for their upcoming wildly popular exhibition "Foot in the Door 4," which is held once every ten years. If you bring a piece of art this weekend that fits inside a box 1' x 1' x 1,'(dubbed "the Curator") they'll put it in the exhibition. That's the only requirement. They are also for the first time taking video offerings this year, with the requirement that it be no longer than 80 seconds. The exhibition opens February 18. They are collecting art this weekend, today and tomorrow, 10:30 - 4:30, but be warned: there's about a two and a half hour wait to check your artwork in [Edited to add: At least that's what they told me on the phone, but I just got back from checking in Delia's artwork, and the wait was an hour]. You do get your artwork back when the exhibition is over, near the end of June. They will all also be displaying submitted works on their website, as long as you give your permission.

I went to see the exhibition last decade, and it was utterly cool, one of the best things I've ever seen at the museum. People offered an amazing variety of objects, paintings, drawings, etc., from a kid's folder covered with doodles to the most beautifully intricate sculptures. I'm taking Delia this afternoon to check a piece of her artwork in:

Don't miss this opportunity, both to offer your artwork (and see it displayed! in a real museum!) and to visit the exhibition. Here's the information on the exhibits premiere event:
Third Thursday: Foot in the Door 4 Premiere
Thursday, February 18, 2010
6 – 9 p.m.


Celebrate opening night of "Foot in the Door 4," the wildly popular exhibition held every 10 years. Rub elbows with hundreds of Minnesota artists and view thousands of submissions in this stupendous art stampede. Sport your most fab footwear for our "Best Shoes in the Door" Flickr gallery. Sock it to our Saint Stephen's sock drive, ideal for warming the hearts and tootsies of kids and adults alike; new socks accepted at the entry. Live music by Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles.

Free; refreshments for sale.
I decided in the end to go back myself and offered one of my soul collage cards for the exhibition, Choosing the Heart of Flesh over the Heart of Stone.

What I did today to make the world a better place )
pegkerr: (Default)
Delia shows off the dinner she made for everyone (with garnishes) here.


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