Sunday, October 21, 2007


I finished a collage last night. It's 18 x 24, and I've been working on it for about a month (a very short time, according to my mom, but an eternity for my ADHD aesthetic sensibility). The photos aren't great, of course, because the camera's flash obliterated some of the details, but here's the gist of the picture: the main figures are from sewing pattern covers from the 1920s and 1930s. Their dresses are composed of tiny bits of magazine and book covers from the period--particularly early Soviet children's books and U.S. pop culture magazines like Photoplay, College Humor, and Detective Story (I think that's the name). There's a big profile of a woman in a cloche hat (done with acrylic paint and light modeling paste) and a black and white collar (a mosaic of words and images from "race record" advertisements). Some cool things that don't show up in these pictures: the belt of one figure's dress is made up of the faces of Sacco and Vanzetti, while the skirt of another figure's dress is made up of photos of cafeteria workers from Milwaukee in the 1930s. It will take me a while to decide whether I'm happy with the finished product; right now I'm mostly aware of how much work it took. (And of how much fun I had planning it and carrying it out, of course.)

I'm already starting to think about collages to come--first, though, I have to get Elliot's ambitious space alien costume finished for Halloween.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Can a social avoidance phobia apply to blogs?

Sometimes when I'm depressed (and I know I'm not alone here) I get so that I don't want to answer the phone or talk to neighbors, even though I know the human contact will perk me up a bit.

My last blog entry was at the beginning of May. Now, I haven't been depressed (well, not very), but a series of unfortunate technological events in May and June threw me so off my blogging routine that I've had a devil of a time getting back to it....even though I know how much I enjoy this kind of writing.

I won't go into all my little setbacks, but here were the clinchers: my laptop died, just as I was starting to teach my summer session online class. The new laptop (yes, I'm using it now) has MS Vista, which I still find infuriatingly slow---but over the summer, when we had just changed to what was supposed to be a much faster DSL connection, it took me *forever* to do anything. Responding to my students' work each week took so long that I had absolutely no desire to blog. The speed of our connection has improved, but I haven't been willing to set myself up for the frustration of testing whether I can upload pictures to the blog. Soon, soon.

Because it's been so hard to get photos onto the Kodak site, I haven't bothered to take pictures of my work since May, or of the kids since July (when we took a real vacation to Michigan City. Ahhh. It was great). And my gunshyness is a shame, because I've done so much good work in the past few months: another major collage, even more ambitious than the one of Astrid, a crib-sized quilt that's going to go to my brother for his 35th birthday (eeek.....hearing how old he is makes me feel *really* old), lots of peasant blouses for Astrid and me. And both Elliot and Astrid have done lovely work, too--cool t-shirts, collages, sock puppets.

Well, I've stuck my toe back into the water.