Action Girl

Second Guessing and Second Chances

Turns out I spoke too soon. I should never have worn my heart on my sleeve. Never have assumed understanding when there was none. Never have shared my enthusiasm so openly about all the things that make this house and this neighborhood so unique.

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Lesson learned.

Right now you are probably thinking WTF are you talking about Melissa?

Well take a look…

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Yes, that’s right, our pending contract failed and the house is back on the market. Wah wah waaaaaah.

Well you know me. I get knocked down, but I get up again….and so will the sale of this house.

So if you were disappointed when we went on…and then off…the market in matter of 3 short days, now’s your second chance.

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By the way, 8,000 of you looked at our virtual tour last time.

Just sayin.

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Mi Casa Can Be Su Casa…

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Lately I’ve had nothing but HOUSE on the brain because…well, we’re Just Doing It! Our wonderful artist’s home is now officially FOR SALE!

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You can see photos and read all the important Real Estate Stuff if you Google MLS# 98588999. Or just click on that hot link I just gave you!

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I’m a bundle of mixed emotions over the whole thing. I love this house so much and am sad to think of leaving it, but I’m super excited to think about finding our next great place here in Boise, AND another in New Orleans. Excited, and a little overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, the important thing for us to concentrate on is finding the perfect buyer for this 3,447 sq. ft. home with 6 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 living room/dining rooms, 1 workroom (shop), 1 butler’s pantry, and 1 very large back yard with tons of potential for someone who actually gardens (cough, cough).

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I like to describe our location as “Urbal” — Urban in the front, and Rural in the back. We’re 1/2 a block from shopping and the busline to downtown, yet you could easily have chickens and ducks, and a giant vegetable garden in the back.

Best of all, this area is becoming the International District and there are Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, African, Argentine, Thai, Bosnian, Korean, Middle Eastern, and Indian markets and restaurants just a couple of blocks away. Plus there’s the International Market on Curtis and Franklin — only two city blocks from our house. Pretty sweet!

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So tell all your house-hunting friends — the best little artists’ house in Boise is looking for a new family! You can get a lot more information from our realtor Linda, who can be reached at her cell # (208)870-6077.

She’s really into HOUSES too!

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Go! No…Stop, Look, Listen. Now Go Go!

I finished the artwork for my next traffic box — actually it’s a HAWK Pedestrian Crossing Control box — and then got word that Rena Vandewater and I had been assigned each other’s locations.

Ooops.

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Potentially that could have been a real pain — particularly if the boxes had been markedly different in size. Or especially if my actual location had not been a Pedestrian Control Box.

But that wasn’t the case.

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In fact both boxes are basically the same size, and both are HAWK Pedestrian Control boxes.

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They are just on different streets. Rena’s artwork will grace the box I thought I was doing on Cassia and Orchard, and my artwork will be on the corner of Edson and Curtis.

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Those locations make so much more sense when you know that Rena does wonderful patterny, colorful paintings of orchards — get it? She’s assigned Orchard St.

And mine is inspired by patterns I saw at the International Market — which is off of Curtis. I’m actually hoping to display the entire tarpestry at the International Market after the box is wrapped this summer.

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And so, inspite of all being well, I am reminded that it is a very good idea to Stop. Look. And Listen — before you Go Go!

Up and At ’em

Tonight is the Opening for Spring Awakening, the latest TVAA exhibition at Boise State Public Radio. It is also the debut of my tarpestry “Spring Awakening (The Unconcious Arsonist).”

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I’m excited to have one of my original tarps out in the world where people, besides my nearest and dearest, can actually see it in person. Descriptions and detail shots don’t do it justice — you have to see the entire “elephant” if you know what I mean.

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It’s been a whirlwind around here lately what with making plans to sell my beloved artists’ home, and being so jazzed about making more tarpestries inspired by our New Orleans trip, and having a new traffic box to design — yes, I’m doing a “traffic tarpestry.”

It’s actually a bit ironic that I am oozing with inspiration at the same time I have to subtract myself and a lot of my art from this house. Potential buyers have to be able to “see” themselves living their lives here, not me living mine.

(This bad boy is coming with me!)

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I’ve “restaged” a couple of the rooms so it is more “housey” and less “artsy.”

Buh-bye “Gallery,” hello Living Room…

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Buh-bye “Music Room,” hello Bedroom…

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I left myself enough space in the Living Room to work on my tarps, sort of. It’s a little cramped, but that just highlights the kind of studio space I really need, and is helping define what we want for our next place. The next space has got to work as a studio first. We can live in our studio, but it’s much harder to turn traditional living space into working space. I’m guessing a lot of you are very familiar with that conundrum.

This is my latest New Orleans inspired tarpestry — sorry about the usual less than great shots since it is so big, and is on the floor.

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Some detail shots…

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And this is the “traffic tarpestry” under way…

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(More to come on this piece in my next post.)

I hope you can make it to the Opening this evening for Spring Awakening — there is a ton of other work besdides mine to enjoy as well.

Up and at’em!

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Just Doing That, Not This

When I started this blog I had the idea that I would be able to do frequent, if not daily, posts. Some wordy, some mostly pictures, but all dependably shared. Often.

Shhiiiiiit. There’s just no way.

This year I’m thinking if I can average one post a week I’ll be doing magnificently.

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Worrying about this has peaked my interest in the process of procrastination. So, while I’ve been putting off writing my next post I’ve spent many delightful hours reading about the art of putting things off. On-line.

No irony there.

I’m not talking about putting off paying the Electric bill or going to the dentist. I’m talking about putting off that thing that you have defined as “What I Do.” For me that’s making art. And, doing a blog that’s sort of about making art.

All in all I no longer think of procrastination as being “bad.” Like boredom, it has its up-side. Where boredom can create the space for creativity to emerge, procrastination can allow for the time it takes for an idea to mature or evolve into something better.

The trick is to manage your procrastination. First, you have to maintain your awareness of the big picture — the dates of deadlines, the amount of real time you think it will take to complete your project (always multiply by 4, that way you can be pleasantly surprised if it only takes twice as long), your personal skill-set vs. your need for others’ assistance. Then, you have to learn to stop wasting time worrying about putting the project off until later. Let that mother go!

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If you can do those things, then one of two things will happen. Either, by your own action or inaction, you will get it done. Or, you will move on to something new and never look back. QED.

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I guess I’m starting to think of procrastination as a very useful filter for determining what I will be spending my time “just doing” vs. what will end up on my “Fuck-it List.”

This might help: pay attention to what distracts you. What are you doing instead of that project you are putting off? The things which consistently distract me are generally the things I really want to be doing. And the things I really want to be doing often lead to projects better suited for me, and often to better outcomes for those projects I do finish.

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Whew!! Now that I’ve finished doing this, I can go back to doing that!

New Habit

I’m still getting used to being my own boss. I’ve mostly managed to stay out of my own way, which is important since I’m not fond of being told what to do. I do have certain expectations about how much attention I pay to the whole “making art” thang but I purposely don’t have specific “numbers” associated with my production — no number of pieces by a particular date, or amount of money I need to earn. It’s still numbers that come to mind though when I evaluate how I’m doing. That’s something I want to change. Sometimes old habits can really kick your ass, and new habits take longer than you think to instill.

Since the New Year I’ve been very productive. I’ve not felt pressured so my process has been relaxed, and even though I have put in lots of hours it hasn’t felt like work. It’s been FUN. More than fun, it’s been that satisfying “all is right with my world” feeling at the end of the day. THAT feeling is how I want to “evaluate how I’m doing.” If I can continue to feel that way then I must be a damn fine boss, right? I’ll keep you posted.

So far I’ve finished a big new Pom Pow blanket, “Clown Daddy”…

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Also my second Treefort tarp, formerly known as “Winter Trees’ Dreams of Spring”…

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now has a Second Life as “The Unconscious Arsonist” (details)….

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TVAA has a juried exhibtion, “Menagerie,” coming up and I did a brand new tarp for it titled “Sss(mmm)sss…”….

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It’s big, 10 feet by 3 1/2 feet, so here it is in sections:

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I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about looking at life from new angles — choosing different perspectives from our usual choices in a way that gets us out of our ruts. I don’t think we should waste our time feeling pressured to do things just so we can say we did. I do think we should DO the things we can’t stop thinking about (the life enhancing, won’t hurt anybody including you, things) in spite of the naysayers. And I think sometimes it helps to actively choose your new perspective.

Well, I’ve put making art that only stresses me out on my Fuck-it List, I’m Just Doing the kind of art that I can’t wait to get out of my head and into the world, and I make sure I get at least a couple of hours of play done every day in my studio.

I’m making a choice: instead of letting my old habits kick me in the ass, I’m going to make it my new habit to kick ass.

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Care to join me?

In Like a Lamb

I’m taking real liberties with that title because I’m not referring to either March or the weather. See today as I write it is January 4th — a day I have been very careful to spend quietly, just like a little lamb, so as to avoid any possible conflicts with those near and dear to me brought on by the “thorny full moon” which is currently under siege from Pluto and Uranus. Seriously.

You would too if your silverware did this whenever you ate out…

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Or the street lights all did this when you drove by…

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I think that full moon might exert a little pull where I’m concerned. Anyway, so far so good.

Even more good news is that this is supposed to be a gangbusters (“gangbusters”…don’t you ever wonder if these words really mean what you think they do?) month for my work life, and since my work life is really making art, this should be a gangbusters month for… making art. And to that I say it’s about time!

I’ve spent most of my time lately setting things up so that I can make art, and have a place to show it. I’ve even helped a tiny bit to influence the city I live in to appreciate the fact there are a bunch of us here worth getting to know.

But now it’s time for me to just Make Art. To materialize the inventory I’m carrying around in my head. To move from the “To-Due List” to “Just Doing It”, and I am really, really ready.

What makes this year different from last year is that I am entirely on my own as far as incentive goes. Last year I had both the Treefort Public Art project, and See Spot Walk, plus four shows to curate for TVAA.

This year we are going to New Orleans for two months and that will briefly restrict the size of the work I can do, but besides that I am unencumbered by responsibility to anyone or any organization. I am my own boss. Soy Chingona!

As part of his New Year’s Resolutions Mike is reading a blog called Art Biz Blog written by an Artist Marketing Coach named Alyson Stanfield. I read a few of her posts as well and one sentence in one excellent post in particular (Your Job is In the Studio) caught my eye. She said: “If you don’t make art, you have nothing to market.”

She couldn’t be more correct. How do you like the gif Mike made for me when I pointed out how cunningly “make” and “art” are nestled into “market”…

The word "market" transforms into "make art." This animated GIF is designed by Melissa "Sasi" Chambers and Michael Chambers

Cool right?! What a guy, and he’s handsome too!

Anyway this got me thinking that this year will be a different sort of approach for me because I will be making art first and then marketing it. Last year the market came to me and I made the work it asked me to make. I am liking the freedom to do what I want. We will see if the market wants what I do.

Which I guess means I’ll find out if “gangbusters” actually means “blowed up good.”

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Nah.

Who Am I Kidding?

I guess you all know me well enough by now to not be the least bit surprised by the fact that having gotten my life in such supremely good order… cleared my calendar, waved buh-bye to commitments which were leaning more toward the possibility of “killing me outright” than “making me stronger,” shifted a crapton of things from the Bucket List to the Fuck-it List, hell, even finished making, buying, wrapping and mailing the Christmas packages so they will actually arrive before Christmas this year…I would just stop posting anything at all on my blog.

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Well. I’m sorry. God knows it pisses me off when other bloggers do it. So if you’re pissed I don’t blame you. I’m pissed at me too.

I just find it so odd that an empty schedule creates the exact opposite effect than what you would expect. Wouldn’t you think if you had a completely free day to make art (or update your blog) in your newly organized studio with a big cup of hot Market Spice tea wafting inspirational steam up your nose that you would just go crazy creating? Well, think again.

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That saying about “if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it” is right. If you want something done, don’t ask the person with the free time to do it. It’ll get put off until tomorrow. Which means never. It’ll get put off until never, and then you will end up doing it yourself anyway when you are already busy and the person you asked to do it will resent you because you went ahead and did it. Trust me, I know this. I have served on Committees.

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So I guess I just need to accept the fact that if I’m going to do a blog I need to have too much on my plate. Be really stressed. Probably being spiteful about it wouldn’t hurt either. Well it’s almost Christmas, and a whole New Year is right around the corner — one which I have lots of plans for, so there is definite hope that soon I will be majorly swamped.

May it be so. And Merry Christmas.

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Just Did It, Yo!

In the spirit of “just doing it” I have been a busy girl. Making pom poms. Hundreds of pom poms. And watching Netflix. Hundreds of hours of Netflix. It’s been serious business around here. Seriously. I can make 12 medium pom poms, and 20 small pom poms in one episode of Breaking Bad. That’s 1,080 small pom poms during the series. Yo Bitch!

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I attached all those pom poms to my collection of second helping crocheted blankets and violá “POM POW An Exhibition” was born.

Pom Pow-500w

We have recently turned our living room into a gallery space in which we plan to have infrequent, exclusive, random exhibitions and events, and “POM POW An Exhibition” was our soft opening.

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If you made it to the opening — Thank you for coming, it meant a lot to me!

If you couldn’t make it, I missed you, and here are the mug shots (plus titles and prices) of the bad boys you missed…

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Pandora’s Ice Box – 165

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“You’re Crazy. No, You’re Crazy.” – SOLD

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“Sanguine” – SOLD

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“Rothko Baby” – 75

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“Smells Like Snow” – 65

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“Vitamin C” – 200

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“Straight-laced Ladybug” SOLD

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“No Yellow” – 40

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“Wonderland Checkers” – 100

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“Lemon Meringue” – SOLD

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“Johnny Jump-up” SOLD

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“Chinese Checkers” – 250

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“Make Love Not War” – 125

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“Zonky” – 150

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“Ice Cream Social” – 200

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“Raspberry Jammin'” – 125

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“Spumoni” SOLD

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“Clown Baby” – 85

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“M’hija” SOLD

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“Pepe Le Pew” – 150

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“Pom Pom Harvest” – 150

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“Complementary Sorbet” – SOLD

Contact me if you see anything you like. Do it soon and I may even have some “round snacks” left to share…

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I told you I take this very seriously. Pom Pow bitch! Yo!