Thursday, October 24, 2019

Animal Village

Illustrations from the 1927 children's book Animal Village (動物の村), another gem from 50 Watts fave Takeo Takei

Monday, September 30, 2019

Dan Matutina

Lovaganza from Colin Hesterly on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Nancy Blum

I am loving Nancy Blum's art and public works.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Apple of my eye

Beatrice Cerocchi

Faye Bradley
Ryo Takemasa

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Katie Scott

Kate Scott flowers

AMKK Botanical Animation "Story of Flowers" from azuma makoto on Vimeo.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Under the sea

Reaction-diffusion still empowers me, astonishes me.

Jan does not post anymore but I loved his blog


I lost my breath when I saw this today. How do they put this together???

Sunday, April 07, 2019

The Miller reality

I have come to terms that I live in a very messy zoo. Period. Four working adults, two active kids, 3 barking chihuahuas, 2 bored kittens who's main goal in their young lives is destroying what are left of the blinds and over-stuffed chairs. Carpets that are beyond repair or cleaning with spilled juice and God knows what else. Piles of dirty clothes and dirty dishes. So different from the environment that I grew up in at 5 years old with a single mom struggling to get by and my grandmother who occasionally lived with us. Oh, I could go on but that was not what I wanted to talk about this morning. 

While watching my political morning shows, I was also listening the Matt and Mason having a conversation in the front room. The front room was officially the "living room" of the house but it is now Bri and Matt's living room while David and I occupy the "back room" which was the family room where everyone watched TV. This gives us all our own space to live in without being on top of each other every night. I confess, sometimes I am a fly on the wall in my own house. Without actually listening to their conversations, I hear the tone and feeling of them. As this morning, Mason was having a serious conversation with Matt. I could tell by her tone and the way she was explaining something to him. She is very smart and articulate for a 5-year-old, always talking, always thinking, never quiet. Polar opposite to my 5 year old self, solitary and introverted. 

Sometimes, I listen to the kids while they are cooking dinner together, in a messy, loud kitchen with Mason sitting on the counter "helping" and Noah watching from the floor in her little detachable swing, also loudly cooing herself for all to hear. Talking about their day, what they did, their beliefs, their struggles and bonding with the kids. Occasionally stop flipping the burgers to go kiss the baby. I don't hear the details, but the overall feeling of this tight-knit family unit. And my heart soars with relief. 

Mason will run into the "back room" to jump on my chair, declaring it "the most comfortable chair in the entire house" while wrestling my twitter feed-filled phone from my hands so she can play a puzzle game. Saying loudly "I love you, Memaw", knowing I will not resist that and hand the phone over. 

Mason builds all sorts of stuff in the back room. Right now we have a daycare going on back here. I have to sign the kids in and out of this daycare that grows in size every day. I have to babysit the babies when Mason goes off "to work". She gives her babies a walk around the "park" in the stroller and ask me where the parking lot is and pays me imaginary money to park. It seems easier to just leave it for awhile than put it all away, as I know it will be back as soon as the last toy is in the proper storage spot.

And lots of singing. Mason knows all lyrics to all her favorite popular songs from the radio and is constantly singing them the minute she gets out of bed. Sometimes, I dig out all of my "oldies-but-goldies" on iTunes and we have a music-fest of sorts. Of course, she knows one of my favorite groups, Earth, Wind and Fire from the Trolls movie, so we have an instant favorite in common there.

Mason and David have Saturday pancake-making-mornings while the kids sleep in. She loves to cook, crack eggs and stir the batter. She and I stir up lots of brownies together. She adores David and will demand, "where is my Papa?" when we are coming home from work. They have a special bond of cooking, reading books, and playing Crazy Eights. He has bought her some crazy expensive books and the most beautiful illustrations. I am more of the "let's play electronic games" together or let's watch silly puppy videos on YouTube, so I guess between us, she gets the spectrum of entertainment.

Lots of people, friends and family ask, when are the kids moving out? And my honest answers is ... I don't know, we never consider or talk about it. In today's reality of housing and daycare cost, it does not seem prudent for them to go anywhere. Not to say we all don't have our moments of frustration, I probably have more than anyone because of the mess. But the flip-side of them not being here seems horrible. I love watching the kids learn to be good parents and us trying to learn to be grandparents, not too preachy and interfering. Of course, Mason is spoiled. She has 4 doting adults at her disposal. If someone says "no", she can meander around the house to find someone who will say "yes". And add to that, she is crazy smart. Yes, she talks back to all of us. She stands her ground on any struggle. I personally think that is a good thing for a girl. She can back up any boy to tears on the playground. Coming from a background of never being able to say anything on my mind if it was in opposition to my mom, I believe in kids having "a voice". I believe I did not have one so am especially sensitive of being able to speak your mind. Of course, there is conflict in thought, but better have a strong mind than a frightened one, as I had. 

And coming from a divorce, single childhood (until I was 12), it is particularly heartening to hear my granddaughter say "Daddy, can you ... Daddy, would you do this or that". I never had anyone who I trusted to call Dad until much later in life. I feel that was a big loss in my childhood and effected me deeply. When I hear Mason say "Daddy, will you read me a book, or make me a sandwich, or get me some cookies?", tears literally come to my eyes. It is such a simple thing to have a "daddy" in the same house, but it does not always happen to many kids in this world. 

The Miller new reality if very messy. Sometimes, very dirty. Very hectic. Very loud. Very chaotic. Very fun. Lots of recycle needing to go out. Lots of barking. Lots of crying. Lots of dirty clothes. But also, lots of love and tenderness. Lots of conversations going on about life and learning between the kids and their kids. I love being a fly on the wall in my own house. 

Sunday, March 03, 2019

The celebration of insects

Anatomical Insects hand embroidery pattern on Etsy are so lovely, graphic and delicate. 

azumi sakata's extraordinary embroidery work. And her website.


From "Encyclopédie d'histoire naturelle on Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr. The have some wonderfully, detailed images. 

Fabric sculptures of Yumi Okita

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Something exquisite

Hannah Mansfield is a freelance embroiderer specialising in hand embroidery for fashion. Within her work she focuses on the techniques of tambour beading and goldwork and is passionate about using these traditional techniques in a modern context. Hannah is best known for her range of goldwork bees and insects and fully three-dimensional goldwork flowers. 

I want a yard or two of this, Lace Fabric Ivory Tulle Floral Embroidery Exquisite Bridal Wedding found on Etsy. And the cream gold lace fabric embroidery 3D laser cut leaves flowers metallic gold thread formal evening prom bridal.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Sitting on art

Look at these beautiful chairs by Rustique Interiors 

"Carey Naughton of ‘Rustique Interiors’ graduated with a Ba Hons in Theatre Design from Central St Martins in 1996, and has been a self employed artist ever since. 

‘I work with mostly recycled textiles and furniture using a mixture of appliqué patchwork and embroidery to create figurative but fantastical landscapes, inhabited by a variety of different creatures. I am inspired by the Scottish countryside, seaside and Edinburgh city-scapes. The textile art is upholstered onto vintage armchairs to create one-off pieces of furniture. 

Before the upholstery is done I will scan the textile art and have them printed onto paper, after which I rework by hand with pen & ink and coloured pencils. These are then reproduced in a variety of ways, creating cushions, prints and so forth.’" 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Jon Reinfurt

The beautiful illustrations by Jon Reinfurt


Michaela Mihalyi

Short stop motion film about different kinds of food. Animated, designed and directed by Michaela Mihalyiová.

FOOD from Michaela Mihalyi on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Lucy Worsley

Lucy Worsley is Joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces but is best known as a presenter of BBC Television series on historical topics, including Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency (2011), Harlots, Housewives and Heroines: A 17th Century History for Girls (2012), The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain (2014), A Very British Romance (2015), Lucy Worsley: Mozart’s London Odyssey (2016), and Six Wives with Lucy Worsley (2016). You can also keep up with her on her facebook page.

 Lucy Worsley's series on History of the Home is so fun and fascinating. If Walls Could Talk Episode 3: The Bedroom. Lots of fun facts about why we call items in the house what ... I promise you will quickly get addicted.


Also If Walls Could Talk Episode 1:The Living Room 

If Walls Could Talk Episode 2: The Bathroom  

If Walls Could Talk Episode 4: The Kitchen

Spotted ... great spot art

I love simple, black and white spot illustrations.  

Greg Clark
Miguel Porlan  

Benoît van Innis
Pablo Amargo

Saturday, June 16, 2018

My brotherly loss

My brother died on May 31 in Corpus Christi, at the age of 50. It is not the phone call I wanted to get but one that I had been expecting for a couple years. Today, is the first quiet, alone day I have had in the house to really be sad about his life and death.

I think it is poignant that this photo I have carried around since we lived in Scotland, has all but faded.

My brother had not been doing well for the last 20 years, drug abuse, alcoholism, living between a prison cell and under a bridge. It is hard for me to imagination what kind of hell his life has been for the last two decades. These are choices he made and for all the help that mom and I tried to give him for over 20 years, none of it seemed to matter.

Yes, I paid for his cell phone and that allowed him to be in constant contact with mom while she worried 24/7 about where he was eating or sleeping. Yes, I sent him money via Walmart every time he called in trouble or needing something... food, clothes, gas money. Yes, I bought him that cheap car when he said he had a great job and just needed a little help. The same car he wrecked the next day and was returned to jail. Yes, I paid for him to come back and forth to Seattle to see his family, hoping that that would make him want to be a part of us a "real" life again, in a good way. Yes, Yes, Yes! I think, what else could I have done? My brain screams out in sadness, anger and rage at him but my heart is broken into a million pieces.

This little kid, I knew him from the moment he came into this world, I babysat him, changed his diapers, read to him, was his sister and friend. This little kid, my brother is now dead from years of self-abuse.

After the coroner asked questions and said this might be a homicide because of the amount of blood at the scene. Which, was a convenience store he was known to sleep behind. The coroner called back to tell me that he had died of natural causes and his liver literally exploded. To imagine my baby brother dying from vomiting blood until he died was more than my brain could deal with.

I have been going through his personal papers sent to me years ago, one of the many returns to prison, sending stuff to his relatives. I have been reading his 12 step paper about his guilt of having treated his family so badly. About his drug abuse. About how he felt when his parents divorced, when he had to move, when his dad basically gave up on him. His private feelings written in his hand, his sorrow for his life is so hard for me to read. And my mind goes back to what else could we have done?

He created so much chaos for the last 30 years that it is hard for me to think of a "good time". My mind has to wonder back all the way to Scotland. Like our family trip to Inverness when he and I walked around the city late at night. Or to Breckenridge, when I took him and a car load of his friends to the drive-in.

All my other memories are terrible, gut-wrenching ones. Jail, car thefts, stealing my mom blind, me kicking him out of the house, me finding his brand new car mom had bought him at a drug dealers house. Me, calling the police on him and said drug dealers (with the car) on a nightly basis. Me, driving him to the hospital for various reasons. Me trying to sooth my mom when she discovered something he had done, stolen her guns, television, her jewelry. When I think about my mom and mine relationship, it was so intertwined with Mac's bad behavior and honestly, I got so tired of being the good kid trying to make things right. Or saving Mac from himself.

He was very close with mom. When she passed away, he was devastated and we cried together many, many hours over the phone. When I discovered mom's life insurance was left to both us ... and realizing he would get $12,000 in one lump sum, I was really afraid for him. I begged him to let me take care of it for him. That money could get him a place to live, food to eat, he could have a some normality for a bit. Back and forth, and he ended up taking that money and packing up his other homeless friends and moving to Corpus Christi, I knew something terrible was just around the corner.

The day after he took that money, he called me to post bail for him. At that point, I said, do not call me back. After years of trying to make something right, it has just gone completely wrong. And I simply had had enough of his bad behavior.

I was so guilty about having a home, a family, a meal in the table, a bed when I knew my brother was struggling for his next bottle of cheap alcohol or his next fix, his next place to sleep. It was so hard to accept that it destroyed my mom's life daily to think of her son in those conditions. It was so hard not to be so very angry at what he had done to his life, his kids' lives, his family's life. I want to cry my big, heart-broken tears and try to remember the sweet times I had with my baby brother. Instead of searching for him on mughots to see if he has been arrested lately. I am hoping he is at peace now.

This was the last time Mac came to Seattle to see us. It was a good visit. 

yellow polyester suit? What was I  thinking. And matching yellow shoes!

Turning lemons into lemonaide, or tears into magazine covers

I hate when we lose coworkers but we have this fun tradition of making them a departing gift of a Hutch Magazine cover. Here are just a few I have made lately. Saying good bye is a hard thing to do!