Tarpestry

Summertime Slump

I know I’ve mentioned more than once the difficulty of living your life, and at the same time blogging or Instagraming or Facebooking about it. It’s like you have to be you, and a reporter/photographer who is constantly documenting yourself. It’s a little tricky.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed out on documenting something I’ve done because I’ve been too busy doing whatever it was. Of course it’s summer which means I’ve spent a fair amount of time doing this,…

Sunning with Snug

and this….

Clouds over Hillcrest

Which has felt like a bit of a slump. Between episodes of sunning and cloud watching however, I have managed to get a little work done.

Just today I got to install the tarpestry I made for Owyhee Elementary School. They are the “Jets” (I think because the school is so close to the Boise Airport) and their values are Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Dignity, and Team Work.

Melissa Sasi Chambers and the Owyhee Jets Tarpestry

This tarpestry was the largest I’ve created in my “new” studio, (one of those things I was too busy “doing” to docmument) which I set up as soon as we returned from New Orleans:

Sasi's studio

Sasi's studio view

View of Sasi's studio

It’s really nice not to have to work on the floor anymore. And to have a table big enough to accommodate at least an 8′ X 8′ tarpestry, like the Owyhee Jets’.

Owyhee Jets Tarpestry

As you know, I also managed to complete the last social justice tarpestries for 2015-2016. The one for Idaho Head Start is hanging for the month of August at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Idaho Head Start tarpestry in BUUF Newsletter

And any day now (she said, eyeing the sun-lit patio), I will begin 9 new social justice tarpestries for 2016-2017. But, the most exciting thing right now, is soon I will have a second book featuring my tarpestries available for purchase. This time with the first 12 social justice tarpestries accompanied by 12 wonderful poems by Dena Duke. It’s called “From You I Recieve, To You I Give” and you’ll be able to buy a copy through this website. I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and I need to soak up all the Vitamin D I can before this summer has flown.

Sasi's handful of sun

Getting a Jump on the “To-Due” List

You already know I’m a big “To-Due” list keeper, and, because I DO get things done, you would think I could keep those lists pretty short.

Nah.

Of course the little habit I have of adding things to the existing list after I have accomplished them, just so I can cross them off said list might be one reason for the length of those lists.

But I don’t want to talk about that right now.

Anywho. I’ve got a really long list this week because on Saturday — 2 days from now — we are getting on the road to NEW ORLEANS!

But you don’t want to know what’s on my To-Due list before we hit the road with 3 dogs, all of Mike’s paintings for his exhibition in May, clothing for 3 versions of climate change, and at least a couple of my new tarpestries from this past year, do you?

Nah.

So instead, here’s a photo album of the Tarpestries I’ve created for the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (BUUF) Social Justice Partners 2015/2016…

November 2015: Farmer’s Market Mobile Market — Food Justice, food security, income inequality
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December 2015: ACLU of Idaho — Criminal Justice Reform, Against the Death Penalty
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January 2016: BUUF Partner Church Meszko Sholarship Fund — Supporting UU 6th principle of world community
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February 2016: Feed the Gap — Child Hunger, Food insecurity
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March 2016: Interfaith Sanctuary — Homelessness
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And because we are going to be away, and I didn’t want to leave work undone, I have gone ahead and made the tarpestries for the months we will be in New Orleans….

April 2016: Women’s & Children’s Alliance — Domestic Violence
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May 2016: Planned Parenthood — Reproductive Justice and Comprehensive Sexuality Education
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June 2016: Habitat for Humanity — Affordable Housing
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I have 4 more tarpestries to create to finish the year — which I’ll make when we get back from New Orleans, and, I’m planning on creating another book with the help of my friend Debra Smith who is doing the Social Justice coordination for which I am creating these tarpestries. Team work, baby. Collaboration is the name of the game for me these days, and my tarpestries are my medium.

I’ll update you from the road, and then undoubtedly inundate you from NOLA, because that city knows how to make Action Girl work up a serious head of steam!

You Can’t Miss These Elephants in the Room!

The, shall we call it, Closing Reception for my TARPESTRY exhibition is day after tomorrow, and I am hoping to see many of you there. But for those of you who aren’t even in Boise I thought I’d share a little more about one of my more unusual tarpestries, “The Elephants in the Room.”

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This tarpestry is my first foray into the use of a material which lights up. It’s so cool!

My friend Chris is an electrician, and over the past six years he’s done a ton of electrical work for us around our house(s). When he saw the work I was doing with my tarpestries he thought I might be interested in incorporating this material which his company, Lumos Lighting and Design, is using in a variety of ways such as safety clothing and Western tack for horses, into one of my tarps.

Would I?!!!

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I think you’ll agree it works great as “Eastern tack for elephants too.”

What makes this tarpestry even cooler though, is that it’s set so the material “blooms” on and off which tends to stop people in their tracks. It’s impossible to ignore these elephants in the room.

A Week in the Life of a Lazy, Easily Distracted Sprinter

Sometimes I have a really hard time getting off the mark. I mentioned how I am a sprinter in my last post, but what I failed to add is that I’m basically lazy too. And easily distracted. I’m a lazy, easily distracted sprinter.

This week for example, I began on Monday by accomplishing little more than a couple loads of laundry and a half marathon of “Sing It On” on Netflix.

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It’s about 4 college a capella groups competing to get to the New York ICCA Finals and all the ups and downs of their personal interactions….But I digress.

Tuesday I woke up feeling guilty — which resulted in a sprint through 10 tiny tarps – tarpititos?

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On Wednesday I finished the other half of the “Sing It On” marathon.

On Thursday Mike worked from home and since I don’t like people watching me do nothing, I basically made myself work on my tarps out of self-conscious guilt.

First, I decided to use my tarpitinos as “fringe” on a bigger tarpestry.

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And then I laid out, cut out, and taped the image — a giant eye-ball surrounded by snakes and lightning bolts (my self-conscious guilt perhaps?).

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On Friday I worked a little on the graffiti on the top surface, but I got tired really quickly and watched 6 episodes of  “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” instead. I tend to be attracted to the white sands and turquoise water of the Gulf coast beaches. Well, I was born in Pensacola, Florida…. Anyway.

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Today I had coffee with my friends (which resulted in a plan to create 12 new tarpestries for a special project — the first of which is due in a week!), and then I came home feeling like I’d been shot out of the Canon of Inspiration, and finished the tarpestry.

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I think I can fit in a couple more episodes of “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” before anyone notices I’ve slipped back into my lazy pants. Aaaah, the Gulf coast — I’m telling you, it’s the best!

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Boise International Market Burned Down

The Boise International Market has been destroyed by a kitchen fire.

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I’ve been sitting here with my fingers resting on the keyboard trying to figure out how to say what I am finding it very hard to find words to express. I’m not even sure why I feel so personally bereft by the black hole which has replaced the colorful, vibrant, inspiring place that was the Boise International Market. I just know its existence had made me happy, and hopeful. It helped me believe that I live in a city which is opening its heart and way of life to other cultures — to an appreciation for different foods, styles of dress, music, visual art, and above all, the people themselves who share their spirits with us through all of those things.

The Boise International Market was the inspiration behind my design for the traffic box on the corner of Curtis and Edson. I created a 4′ x 10′ tarpestry covered with ethnic motifs inspired by the patterns I saw on clothing in Thara Rita’s shop, and upholstry in the seating area of The Goodness Land.

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I enjoyed a lovely pot of tea drunk from a cup of my choosing at Joyful Tea, and had coffee several times from Kahve Coffee. But I didn’t take full advantage of all that the Market had to offer. My plan was to eat at all the restaurants eventually. Of course that was the plan. But I forgot that everything changes and it doesn’t always work out that what I want will be there when I’m ready for it. I had to be reminded yet again that “just doing it” is the only way to ensure I get it done.

There is a site called gofundme.com where you can donate to the International Market Family Fund to help raise money for the individual vendors. We need to do everything we can to assure that places like the Boise International Market and especially the people who make those places happen know they are valued. Because a community which does not express the happy, hopeful, inspiring diversity of life – like the Boise International Market, is not a place anyone would want to call home.

(Just doing it!)

I look forward to the rise of this phoenix from the ashes.

Making a Splash at Reel Foods

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The Fish Tarpestries are up!

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Terry Burkes and I met at Reel Foods this morning and put them up together.

I’ll be adding a few more velcro straps here and there to help keep them a bit straighter, but they look awesome — if I do say so myself!

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You know what else looks awesome?

The totally fresh seafood at Reel Foods.

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After we finished installing the tarpestries, Terry and I were treated to some wonderful Sushi — we had the Boise River roll with smoked trout. And, I am very impressed by, and can’t wait to try, the variety of oysters they offer. Chef Mark thinks the Steamboat oysters will charcoal grill nicely — just the way we loved them in New Orleans!

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Hungry yet? (Jeez, I am!)

Well, you should go to Reel Foods on Capitol Blvd. and check them out…

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the fresh seafood, AND the Fresh Fish Tarpestries!

Still Fishing!

I’ve been keeping busy while the house is on the market — working on my tarpestries for Reel Foods. Nothing like a few hours a day making art with tarp and tape and permanent markers to take your mind off your poor pitiful existence. Kidding. All I could think about was selling the house.

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Well the house hasn’t sold yet, but the tarps are all done!

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They’ll be installed on July 1st so you can see them on First Thursday, over the 4th of July weekend, and during Reel Foods’ business hours through October.

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See food?

Seafood!

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See you!