Logan

Don’t/Stop Looking At Me

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I pinned this on my “Wise Words” Pinterest board this week and realized as I did so that I whole heartedly agree with the sentiment. As someone who is keeping a blog — the point of which is to make myself MORE VISIBLE — I also realized that it puts me in constant conflict with myself. Look at Me! Don’t look at me! Stop looking at me! Don’t stop looking at me! Jeez.

It also helps me understand why I don’t post as regularly as I intend to. Even though I have a daily practice of writing, and 60 notebooks worth of my thoughts which could fill a blog every day for several years to come — I could call it “TMI” — I hesitate to be that visible and instead of just posting a little something and calling it good, I disappear.

Now you see me. Now you don’t.

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And I feel bad about that. So, with the knowledge that there are only about seven of you who read this blog anyway, I’m going to do something I do in my daily writing to declutter my brain, and just list in no particular order the things which are on my mind right now — some of which have been taking up time I might have spent writing posts for this blog.

+ I am applying for the Nampa Public Libray Feature Art Wall project and would dearly love* to be one of the 3 artists selected to create a proposal.

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*serious understatement

+ I’ve been working on two pieces for the upcoming “Monsters!” exhibition TVAA is having. Here’s a preview of one of them:

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+ TVAA Exhibitions have been my primary focus and volunteer commitment for the past 4 years since we founded TVAA, and after 13 exhibitions I am ready to pass the oversight on to another individual, or group. Come out, come out whoever you are?!! I will continue to participate in the shows by creating art for them, and I’d love to curate now and then, I just need to pass the baton. Especially if we are not even going to be in Boise part of the year….

+ We were thiiiis close to booking a way cool artists’ compound Airbnb in what is admittedly a pretty rough (but getting better since Katrina) neighborhood in New Orleans for our Winter 2015 adventure, when our friend (and guard dog) Joy forwarded us a very dispiriting news report about an artist being beaten within an inch of his life by a gang of boys with bats and pipes just a couple of blocks from “our” place. Boo.

We’re definitely going to New Orleans, but we’re debating whether or not to take a risk on this particular (and particularly awesome in every way except location) housing possibility.

+ We’re thinking about trading in our 2001 Forester for a 2014/15 Forester with the 250 hp upgrade. Anyone?

+ After 6 years of pouring my heART and soul into this house it has “suddenly” dawned on us that most of the reasons we moved here in the first place — to create a home within a home for Logan (he now lives in Supported Living), and to evolve into a sort of family compound for Idaho raised grandkids (Lina seems to be heading further East these days and has no inclination to return to Boise) — no longer exist. Couple that with the fact we need more open work space for the larger pieces I am interested in creating, and it’s looking like move #36 is on the horizon.

Interested in a 3600 sq.ft. house with 2 kitchens, 2.25 baths and 6 bedrooms (2 bedrooms, 1 workroom, 3 studios the way we’ve used them), with a huge back yard? Then stay tuned.

+ My hair is giving me fits.

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Ok. You can stop looking now.

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Illumination

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We had Logan, and Lina’s best friend Emma, over for dinner last night. Emma wanted a photo of our new “Pixar” standing lamp so she asked Logan to take a picture of her next to the lamp using her iPhone. This is the photo. One click. No special filter. All I did was cut out his thumb from the lower left corner.

The world is an amazing place filtered through the lens of an Aspie.

Field Trip: India Foods on Fairview

Logan ate everything as a tiny tot, Lina was the picky one. That’s totally opposite now. Lina even puts together a curriculum which involves introducing 3 year olds to foods like purple cabbage, eggplant and lavendar — which they love!

Whereas Logan, on a recent visit home, requested meatloaf for dinner which surprised me as I have never considered myself a plain Jane sort of cook!

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Now that it’s just Mike and me, and the wee wolf pack, we can eat whatever we want, whenever we want — which is oddly guilt inducing and yet liberating at the same time. After all, I’ve put a proper meal on the table for up to three meals a day for twenty plus years, but now if we feel like having Jalapeno poppers and Kaliber for dinner, then I just make sure there’s enough sour cream for dipping.

Today we were hungry for Indian food. Luckily Boise has several very good ethnic groceries, and India Foods on Fairview is one of them.

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Besides being well stocked with every kind of rice, spice, simmer sauce, canned good, packaged sweet and salty treat…

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chutney, pickle, yogurt drink, naan ready to warm in the oven, and frozen ready made dinners, they also stock fresh vegetables.

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Some are familiar. Some are grown on another planet and shipped in specially.

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AND, they stock cool stuff.

Clothes…

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Containers for your tea and treasure…

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Little altars for your minor deities…

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For an artist and collector of “raw material” there are interesting things like this lovely item…

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which unwinds into this — undoubtedly useful (once I think of a use for it) length of dyed and twisted fabric and paper. Um hmm.

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I also got this little beauty…

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which I will leave and love just the way it is, and another…

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that I intend to have a lot of fun painting. I’ll share the results with you in a future post. Now I’m going to go make dinner, Butter Chicken tonight, Tikka Masala next time. Oh yeah!

Check it out! India Foods 6020 W Fairview in Boise. They are open 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM Monday through Saturday and 12:00 – 7:00 PM on Sundays.

Merry Birthday Logan!

Logan Blackburn Chambers was born on December 25, 1989, which means that for the past 24 years every Christmas dinner in our family has ended with Birthday cake, ice cream and hopeful wishes.

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Pretty Sweet.

Merry 24th Birthday Logan! And many mooooore!!!!

Crazy “To Do” List

Lina arrived safely from Chicago for Christmas, meaning it was time to relax and play and enjoy the holiday, right? Only I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, I pretty much put her straight to work. (Tell me I’m not the only one with a crazy “to do” list in her head?!)

Well, we let her refuel first.

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Twice.

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I’ve been wanting to build a snowman for days, but it’s been so cold the precipitation has all been powder. Finally, it warmed up enough the snow could stick and then (of course) it all started to melt. So, first things first, we made 3 tiny snow creatures…

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Quickly.

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Next there were cookies to be baked and decorated at mom’s house with both Lina and Logan…

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And then the real work began. Lina introduced me to the 21st Century. (I don’t always move quickly.) She set me up on Facebook.

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I’m only about 10 years late to the party and I’m really planning to stay only as long as we can talk about art. And I can already hear my more literary friends practically screaming in unison (some with really bad Scottish accents)… “and the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley.”

But I’m here now, and Facebook actually let me open a personal page and an artist’s page, and a few of you already like me. You really LIKE me!

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I will try to keep up with the whiplashing pace and volume of information (Hey Deby!!), but I will also be honest and say my hope for Facebook is that I can finally share what I’m doing with my art with a much larger audience. Color me crazy!

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I hope your crazy “to do” list is as short, and sweet, and colorful as our plate of Christmas cookies. And vanishes as quickly!

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Merry Christmas!

Gobble Gobbled

Logan came home today for Thanksgiving. Of course the thing to do while I cook is watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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And maybe play a little with Snug during the commercials.

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While Logan and Mike watched, I got the turkey in the oven. I still use the instructions mom sent me the first year I ever made a Thanksgiving dinner by myself.

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I also made the potatoes and the green beans and the gravy. And the parade marched on.

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Then it was time to eat. And in ten minutes we were done.
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This was all accomplished by 1:30 when we headed to the movies to see “Catching Fire” the second in the Hunger Games trilogy (no irony in that selection I can assure you!) after which we took Logan and his ample leftovers to his home, made a mad dash back to our house to change clothes and meet my parents at Barbacoa for our nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Because once again, it was time to eat.

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“Blessed” gets tossed around casually all the time. Heck, I get blessed every time I sneeze. But I do truly feel blessed to live such a wonderful life with such a great family, and for all of them, I am thankful.

And now I must go lie down because I think I ate too much. Again.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Gobble, gobble.

Jump, Logan, You Can Do It!

Today’s the day we’ve been working up to. Moving all those piles of things in and out and over and around and up and down. Shifting rooms and room functions, turning one home into two. All in preparation for next steps, and new phases, and oh you know, the first day of the rest of our lives.

It’s an especially big day for Logan, though for now he’s pretty much just taking it in stride. I’m sure in time we’ll all know exactly how he feels about this transition but since he’s always had a different view of the world from the rest of us I suspect there will be some surprises in his perspective — whenever he chooses to share it with us.

So, in the spirit of sharing one’s personal perspective, I offer for your viewing pleasure today a wee retrospective of Logan as I saw him growing up:

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Taking the plunge is pretty exciting, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. This summer Logan went to McCall with Mike and me and we stayed in a wonderful cabin on Payette Lake. And everyday there was a good reason not to jump in the lake. That lake is cold! You’ve got to be fully committed before you make the leap. But on the last day Logan and Mike went down for one last attempt…and I caught the action on my iPhone. (It’s a bit like watching ants while up on a mountain but just listen to my voice and you’ll know what’s going on.)

Jump, Logan, you can do it!

Evolution of a Theme

Yesterday I mentioned that quilts show up all the time in my work. As I sit here running through the house in my head taking an inventory of my art, I would venture a guess that were you to remove all the pieces that were inspired by, featured, or actually were quilts, you would assume that Mike lived here by himself, or at the very least that we only hung his art.

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Quilts started showing up with my art and domesticity mashup which occurred with the introduction of one Carolina Lorraine Chambers…

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followed seventeen months later by Logan Blackburn Chambers….

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I did say “mashup” right? I think that about covers it. Logan was born on Christmas Day (Surprise! He was due on the 29th.) and so I painted his first portrait with Christmas quilt patterns: Star of Bethlehem and Fir Trees.

I don’t spend a lot of time analyzing what I do, I just do it. Action Girl, ON IT! But it has always been clear to me that what is considered to be “woman’s work” is an art, Domestic Art if you will, and should be celebrated. Quilts show up in my artwork all the time because to me quilts are a “signifier” (damn that Art Criticism class) of home, family, connection, story and tribe.

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My tribe is made up of those who make art, who make home, and who make the two inseparable.

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Lina is all grown up now and organizing her own Big Ass closet in Chicago. Logan is getting ready to move into his new house next week. And still the theme goes on: I am starting a new painting of hot air balloons each with a different quilt pattern…Up, up and away? (Oh, you sly subconscious.) My guess is quilts will always be present in my home and in my art.

Besides, a quilt works great as a superhero cape in a pinch!

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