Tag Archive: art


Oyster

Just a quick note to let you know that my Etsy shop has gone live! I’m currently listing a couple of poetry chapbooks by Lorri Jackson called Scat and My Mouth is a Hole in My Face, as well as my new zine Oyster Lexicon: An A-Z of Me.

Get ’em while they’re hot!

 

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I create to show appreciation for all of the beauty that surrounds me.

I create to rebel against that which is ugly.

I create to practice presence. To slow down and enlarge that which is too fast or too small. To speed up and reduce that which is too small or too complex.

I create in hopes of leaving a piece of myself behind that means something to someone.

I create because I’m bored.

I create because I can’t help myself.

I create because I’m in love with my life, and I want to share it with others.

I create because I am creative.

I create.

UPDATE:

I’m sure there will be multiple updates to this guide, so I’m going to put them on top so you can see them quickly…

I can’t believe I forgot to mention the perennial Mama Calendar. Coleen does this calendar every year, and it is always amazing. Here’s her info:

How to order your Mama Calendar: Send $12 by paypal or US mail to: the mama calendar coleen murphy coleen@bust.com
Only $10 if you track me down to get it in person! Also $10 a piece for orders of ten or more. Email for mailing address if you need to pay by check.

I also just stumbled upon this amazing artist on Tumblr. His paintings make me happy, and I love that he makes greeting cards, as well: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jonshawpaintings

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Below is the original post…

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I watch a minimal amount of television. I don’t have cable, and I watch maybe 1 or 2 guilty pleasure shows regularly. But even with that, I’ve already seen enough “buy buy buy buy buy” commercials that I seriously would like to vomit. Maybe that makes me a grinch. Maybe it’s passe to talk about consumerism and greed over the holidays. Maybe my kids will be in therapy forever because I have, over the years, slowly dialed back the gift giving and traditional holiday celebrating to almost zero. Maybe the real way to show someone you care about them is to brave the crowds on black Friday and give an underpaid Wal-Mart worker something to do on the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t know.

What I DO know is I have a ton of very talented friends and relations who make shit. So, I feel like if you really would like to buy something for someone over the holidays – why not put your consumer dollars directly into the hands of an original artist or craftsperson. Yeah yeah. I know you are broke and handmade shit costs more…but maybe you buy too much, anyway. Maybe forcing yourself to buy something more expensive, and less of it, will help your family value what they *do* get more. I dunno. I don’t think my kids are particularly more evolved than anyone else just because they don’t get a bunch of crap from me over the holidays. And probably this year I won’t end up getting anything except things they really need. But in case you are interested in keeping your holiday dollars in the art/craft economy, here are some suggestions for you. ❤

In no particular order:

Linger Bath and Body: Amber makes some of the best soaps I have ever had the pleasure to use. They retain their fragrance through the whole bar, and she has tons of really great “flavors.” I always keep extra bars on hand for when I have guests, so they think I’m all fancy and shit. And I have my own special bar in the shower that the kids aren’t allowed to use.

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My friend Pam makes the most delicious jams ever. She started sending them as holiday gifts a few years ago, and Tao of Bird would eat them all up before I had much of a chance. When I finally did manage to sneak some onto a piece of toast, I was blown away. So much yum, with unique flavors that go on forever, and ALL proceeds go to bull terrier rescue! Can’t beat that! Here’s what Pam has to say about her Jams:

Kick out the jams!!! And help some awesome li’l doggies along the way. All of my jams, dessert sauces, and mustard are loving made in my very clean but not-government-conforming personal kitchen. All fruit was sourced from one of three small farms — Hardin Farms in Eau Claire, Michigan, the Stella Gardens organic co-op in East Troy, Wisconsin, or the Fickau family orchard in Mukwonago, WI. All liquor used was purchased at a small family business. Flavors range from traditional to mad scientist.

Generally, my stuff comes in 4oz jars, BUT I have a limited number of 8oz jars available. Just ask. Small jars are $5 each, or 3 for $12, or 5 for $20. Large jars are $8. I also have a very, very limited number of Roma tomato quarts for $15 each — they taste just like summer!

Shipping is on you — if you don’t want to use a flat rate box (ideal if you are getting more than one, cuz these are in glass jars), I will let you know the actual shipping cost.

100% of the proceeds go to the Fort Dearborn Bull Terrier Rescue organization. Yes, 100%. So, if you buy five jams, the rescue gets that $20. This way we all get to give a little something to someone

Questions or whatnot, contact me at jamming4bullies@gmail.com

If you’re interested in a fancy gift basket, let me know and I’ll get my crafty mom on it!

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I met Colin Mullin when he started organizing weekly sign-making workshops for Occupy Austin. Now he’s selling prints of some of his beautiful artwork on his website: http://www.colinmullin.com/index.html

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kellyhoganfinalposter

Art by Dan Grzeca

I’m really proud of all of the zinesters I’ve known in my life who have grown up to become independent artists. Of the printmaking variety, Dan Grzeca is probably one of the most prolific. He does amazing works with animal/wooden building themes, and much more. You can check out his prints here: http://groundup.bigcartel.com/

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HappyMakerTreats – Pansy is basically a genius of all things, but she’s especially a genius at making delicious cookies. She can adapt recipes to satisfy any dietary restrictions you might have, and everything she does tastes awesome. I know at least one person who will be getting some Happy Maker Treats this month! You should also indulge! She also makes and sells aprons.

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My friend Jessica recently started making organic merino wool tube socks! Super comfy, soft, and warm! Also, she is doing organic cloth diapers and wool diaper covers on a word of mouth order basis. Contact her at: ohdearjessica@gmail.com, or at http://www.littlefawnorganics.com for diapers.

art by John Porcellino

art by John Porcellino

I’ve known John Porcellino since we both lived in the Chicago area, publishing zines. John was one of the very first local zinesters I knew, and gave me the die-cast bulldozer that became the basis for my tattoo. I’m so glad that John P is still creating and publishing his comic book King Cat Comics and Stories. There are none like him. His books make me happy to be alive. ❤ You can find his comics and other merchandise here: http://www.johnporcellino.blogspot.com/p/buy-comix.html

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Ally Shaw is another zine friend of mine from way back. She now resides in England, and makes the coolest jewelry! I’m vowing this year will be the year that I buy something from her awesome Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/feralstrumpet

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Yet another zine friend who I used to live with in Chicago, Andy Lowry now creates one-of-a-kind decorative home goods. I need to vow to get one of her awesome custom serving trays this year, as well! Check out her website here: http://www.whygirlsgoastray.com.

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Beth Winegarner grew up in the zine world, too. (How awesome is it that zines nurtured so many artistic people into lifelong careers in creative fields!)  Now she’s a journalist, writing books about important topics like this one: http://www.bethwinegarner.com/the-columbine-effect/

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Check out Sarah’s awesome jewelry at her website here: http://www.worldonastring.us/

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Tracie is just getting started creating natural bodycare products under the business name Teabody Naturals. So far, she only has a Facebook Page, but keep your eye out for more information, or email here to find out what she has available: tracie@teabodynaturals.com

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How to describe Imagine? He’s the wonderful child of a friend I made through the internet at the height of hipmama days. Imagine makes incredible Lego designs, and you can find his book here: http://www.blurb.com/b/4566814-imagine-designs. He’s such an awesome kid.

Entrust-460x600Ray Maseman (aka Raymond) is another awesome printmaker. I keep typing things about Raymond’s artwork and it just sounds so silly to describe it, I’m erasing. Whimsical? Silly? Fantastic? All adjectives sound really trite. I think my favorite concept in Raymond’s art is the penguin in a bird-shaped flying machine. That pretty much describes how I feel about all of Raymond’s artwork. It’s like a penguin in a bird-shaped flying machine…or a giraffe in a boat. You can find greeting cards here: http://www.cafepress.com/raymaseman, various cards and merchandise here: http://www.zazzle.com/maseman, and prints here: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A6685299011%2Cp_lbr_three_browse-bin%3ARay%20Maseman

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In addition to my friends who make cool stuff, here are some other suggestions for non-commercial gift giving:

From my friend Karen: My sister makes amazing things, she is hauling her lot to a craft show this weekend but said next week her ebay store will be stocked up. She creates steam punk sculptures, repurposed books, cute stuffed critters along with original paintings and drawings. Her ebay name is pleasant_surprise

Bliss Point Cupcakes: https://m.facebook.com/blisspointcupcakes?ref=stream&_ft_&_rdr

Upcycled goods: http://adaptivereuser.com/home.html

Feel free to make your own suggestions in comments. Independent makers only, please!

P.S. I almost forgot about meeeeee! I will be putting out a new zine this year, as well as postcards. I’m currently doing a fundraiser, and taking pre-orders through that fundraiser. Please help fund my zine and zine library this year. ❤ Thank you. Here’s the link: https://www.wepay.com/donations/oyster-lexicon-zine-and-crustacean-zine-library-fundraiser

 

The Art of Unsticking a Window

 

You must be thorough.

That angry purple paint

you carelessly splashed

onto walls

over baseboards

globbed onto sills & casements

won’t give easy

Having solidified

In your

Living Room

for a decade

while you’ve craved

open windows

never time to

break the seal

 

Though you wield a hammer

You must be gentle

The glass, already

hairline

fractured

and delicate

a window is more

vulnerable, even,

than it seems

Surrounded, as it is, by

impervious, swollen

wood

 

You must be innovative

When a hammer doesn’t work

try a paint scraper

& if you can’t find

a paint scraper,

you look for a

screwdriver

And if your last housemate

stole all your tools,

use the metal spatula

floating in the

sink’s lake of last night’s

fetid dishes

 

You must be persistent

get at every single

crevice – slicint, pushing,

pulling, hammering,

BELIEVING

with all your might

that you will get this

fucking window

open.

You will feel this autumn’s

cool breezes in your

Living Room

 

You must

write poetry

in your mind

as you work.

 

You must stop

When you are done

and celebrate

By writing down that poem.

 

You must not

be discouraged

by the fact that there are

Three more windows

waiting

to be

Pried Open.

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I always wanted to be a librarian, and now that I think of it, I kind of am. I have my library of zines and a plethora of letters and mail art from the era that I would most want to curate. Now I just need to find a way to share them.

I can share some here. I’ve spent my spare time today sorting through letters that I have in a box – mostly from around 1990-1994.

I’m pretty sure I have a box of letters that span the mid-late-80’s. At least I HOPE I do. I HOPE it didn’t get thrown away.

I will forever remember the box of mail and zines I left behind because it wouldn’t fit into my car when I moved out of the house on 49th street in a big hurry. I will always wonder what little pieces of my past remained behind in that box.

I’ve culled through letters several times, though. Tossing those that were inconsequential. Keeping those from people I really cared about. Looking back at them, I see so much I didn’t see then.

What remains is loveliness from all corners of the earth. From dear friends in IL, GA, MI, CA, CO…not to mention Finland, Denmark, England.

The perpetually-incarcerated artist/bankrobber.

The octogenarian poet from New York.

The crazy beatnik from Albuquerque who sent risque photo postcards. The shy young woman who sent artwork and poetry to me, tentatively.

The boy with a crush on me that I completely ignored due to my tendency to remain oblivious to such things. The junkie cartoonist from New York.

All, all, all committing paper to pen several times a month. So many letters that began with “I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you.” and “It was great to finally hear from you!”

I had their addresses memorized. Or, at least, their zip codes. I still think about them when I hear people say they are from some obscure town that someone I once knew hailed from. Midland, Michigan. Appleton, Wisconsin. Yellow River, Ohio. Fair Oaks, California. I would grow to love the way they shaped their letters and the pattern of punctuation the way most would love a face or a particular accent.

When I was in high school, I would frequently make my mother call me in sick so I could spend the day in my pajamas, answering mail. Writing letters. Waiting waiting waiting for the thick bundle of mail to drop between the screen door and the wooden door because there was too much to fit in the mailbox.

And there was mail art. Interesting envelopes. Who knows what mail I never received because of the container that held it.

Yesterday, I was thinking that my friend P is the kind of adult I always thought was cool when I was younger. Unassuming, and cool as shit. Today, glancing through this bit of my history, I realize – I am exactly the kind of adult that I wanted to be. And THAT is pretty damn cool.

Words that only come to me in disconnected ramblings. I have several articles bookmarked and random bits of essays written, but I haven’t had a chance to pull it all together. Or, more like, I haven’t been inspired to do so. Actually, more like it’s still brewing up there, and I am writing it in conversations I have throughout the days and I’m just waiting to be able to sit down and have it write itself.

Suffice to say, it has to do with the value of poetry and paintings. And how those things are devalued. And, you know how it goes…when you are suffering from writer’s malaise, everything has already been written, so what’s the point in rewriting it in inferior language. Just listen to The Ex song posted above…you’ll get the drift.

Or read this interview with Noam Chomsky:

Anarchism is quite different from that.  It calls for an elimination to tyranny, all kinds of tyranny.  Including the kind of tyranny that’s internal to private power concentrations.  So why should we prefer it?  Well I think because freedom is better than subordination.  It’s better to be free than to be a slave.  Its’ better to be able to make your own decisions than to have someone else make decisions and force you to observe them.  I mean, I don’t think you really need an argument for that.  It seems like … transparent. The thing you need an argument for, and should give an argument for, is, How can we best proceed in that direction?  And there are lots of ways within the current society.  One way, incidentally,  is through use of the state, to the extent that it is democratically controlled.  I mean in the long run, anarchists would like to see the state eliminated.  But it exists, alongside of private power, and the state is, at least to a certain extent, under public influence and control — could be much more so.  And it provides devices to constrain the much more dangerous forces of private power.  Rules for safety and health in the workplace for example.  Or insuring  that people have decent health care, let’s say.  Many other things like that.  They’re not going to come about through private power.

That’s about where my head is at right now.

 

Solsticephotowalk

It’s not spring until I listen to Key Lime Pie by Camper Van Beethoven. I was holding out in hopes of…but, no. It’s time for spring to begin.

Camper Van Beethoven - June

…and I wrote you this letter…

Weekends are sort of redundant when one is unemployed. Regardless, I had a relaxing one.

Saturday began with Bitch Magazine, coffee, and raisin bran…

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

A trip to Vegfest, to help serve food for Unity Vegan Kitchen.

Unity Vegan Kitchen at Vegfest 2013

Unity Vegan Kitchen at Vegfest 2013

Though they didn’t need help, I was thankful for the excuse to make it out to the festival, and enjoyed some yummy food.

Chole Samosa

Chole Samosa

Accompanied a friend to The Great Outdoors, where we gawked at greenhouse flowers before he bought bags of soil for his garden.

Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant 2

Pitcher Plant 2

Bougainvillea galore!

Bougainvillea galore!

Nerded out at the opening of the Hats off to Dr. Seuss exhibition with one of my very favorite superheroes…followed by dinner and giggles at surreal-0-vision.

I think this one was called

I think this one was called “Ejecting a Surly Cat.”

Sunday was about much needed solitude.

Abundance

Abundance

Manifesting the inspiration from the preceding day into art.

Yertle the Tortuga, Pt. 1

Yertle the Tortuga, Pt. 1

They Obeyed

They Obeyed

Contemplating…

Journaling…

Maintaining…

When I was working, this time of night on a Sunday was a time of mourning for the lost weekend hours. Now, I celebrate the time spent in pursuit of more esoteric goals. I am memorizing the contours of a simpler life-measuring the hours of the days and comparing them to the important things that need to fit within them. I am taking time to listen to birdsong and track the daily growth of the leaves on trees. I am paying close attention to my kinder instincts and (internally, silently) admonishing those who would wish me to be more cruel because that is what they would do. I am appreciating the fact that my child quotes Neitzsche when confronted with my angst (specifically, though paraphrased: “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”)

I am listening to Camper Van Beethoven, and welcoming spring.

And now…the news:

Troubling reports continue to come in from the Pegasus Tarsands Pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas about the apparent control of the proverbial chicken coop by the foxes:

Now, Exxon is trying to limit access to the animals impacted by the tar sands crude. A wildlife management company hired by Exxon has taken over all oiled wild animal care. The company, called Wildlife Response Services, is now refusing to release pictures and documentation of the animals in their care, unless they are authorized by Exxon’s public relations department. http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2013/04/04/is-exxon-trying-to-hide-the-damage-from-their-tar-sands-pipeline-spill/

On Friday morning, Inside Climate Newsreported that an Exxon spokesperson told reporter Lisa Song that she could be “arrested for criminal trespass” when she went to the command center to try to find representatives from the EPA and the Department of Transportation. On Friday afternoon, I spoke to the news director from the local NPR affiliate who said he, too, had been threatened with arrest while trying to cover the spill. http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/04/reporters-say-exxon-impeding-spill-coverage-arkansas

Thankfully, the residents of Mayflower are fighting back:

On Friday, homeowners filed a civil lawsuit against Exxon in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Arkansas Western Division. In the class action suit, homeowners said the pipeline was unsafe and its rupture hurt property values. http://thecabin.net/latest-news/2013-04-06-1#.UWJPgpPvuSr

And there are superheroes on the ground, gathering information:

Elsewhere, “an activist indy news team” duo called JNL, has been using Ustream and Twitter to report from Mayflower and interview local residents. Yesterday, they were detained by police and forced to leave private property where they were reporting from, despite having permission to be there. http://www.treehugger.com/energy-disasters/mayflower-arkansas-lockdown-following-exxon-oil-spill.html

(sample of the coverage JNL is providing: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/30996411. You can find them here: https://twitter.com/jak_nlauren)

We have reports that because Exxon had already partially destroyed this wetland, they pumped diluted bitumen spilled in other areas here to get it all in one place and keep it out of sight of the media. We went in anyway.

This is how we comfort ourselves when we feel helpless:

An Exxon parody Twitter account is tweeting fake public relations updates about the oil company’s ruptured Pegasus pipeline, which spilled at least 84,000 gallons of heavy crude oil into residential streets in Mayflower, Ark., last week. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/exxon-fake-twitter-account_n_3024663.html

And I did a little studying up on the history of May Day, in preparation for the planning of picnic/potluckness:

Originally a pagan holiday, the roots of the modern May Day bank holiday are in the fight for the eight-hour working day in Chicago in 1886, and the subsequent execution of innocent anarchist workers.

In 1887, four Chicago anarchists were executed; a fifth cheated the hangman by killing himself in prison. Three more were to spend 6 years in prison until pardoned by Governor Altgeld who said the trial that convicted them was characterised by “hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge”. The state had, in the words of the prosecution put “Anarchy is on trial” and hoped their deaths would also be the death of the anarchist idea. http://libcom.org/history/1886-haymarket-martyrs-mayday

The farmers, workers, and child-bearers (laborers) of the Middle Ages had hundreds of holy days which preserved the May Green, despite the attack on peasants and witches. Despite the complexities, whether May Day was observed by sacred or profane ritual, by pagan or Christian, by magic or not, by straights or gays, by gentle or calloused hands, it was always a celebration of all that is free and life-giving in the world. That is the Green side of the story. Whatever else it was, it was not a time to work.

Therefore, it was attacked by the authorities. http://libcom.org/history/incomplete-true-authentic-wonderful-history-may-day-peter-linebaugh

And I’m still listening to Camper Van Beethoven’s Key Lime Pie. As per tradition. ❤