Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Artistic Soul-searching

I call myself a mixed media artist, but I think this is mostly due to the fact that I can't stick with one medium.  I am so interested in learning how to do new things, new techniques, use new materials.

Last Sunday I took a knitting class and this is my practice piece.  I don't really know anything more than what you can see here: cast on, knit, pearl, rib, switch colors.  But I am really excited to learn something new.  I have another class this coming Sunday

The great thing about learning new materials and techniques all the time is that as an art therapist I can help a variety of clients use many different materials.  My basic knowledge of many different things helps them get off the ground, and since I'm not an expert in anything then I can feel comfortable encouraging to explore the materials on their own (without any internal need to "show" anyone anything).

The bad thing about learning new materials all the time is that I am not an expert in any material, and I think sometimes my artwork suffers as a result.  I don't spend long enough working something out, I just want to give it a try and move on.  I have a few projects in progress but once I feel satisfied with the technique I don't feel a need to explore it any more.

Well, we'll see.  I'm in a funny phase of life right now and maybe my disconnected art making is a reflection of that.  In many ways, I'm still trying to find my feet and figure out which direction I'll head in, both figuratively and literally.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A fancy new saw

This may come as a surprise, but I have never customized anything important like a piece of furniture - besides painting it.  But soon I (or my husband) will be taking a saw to pieces of an IKEA wardrobe to just take a little off the top.  For me, this is a big deal, because what if it's crooked??

Unfortunately, we have no choice.  At least, no choice that makes sense, financially.  I will relate the tale...

It all started with a kitten.  A kitten who is diabolical and has figured out how to open drawers, even drawers with baby locks on them.  A kitten who likes to eat clothing.  The temporary solution became to just tape the drawers closed, but it's hard to get dressed in the morning when you are constantly taping and un-taping the dresser.  We decided to get a wardrobe from IKEA.

After several hours in IKEA trying to come up with just the right thing, I ended up with a custom wardrobe set-up.  But when I went down to the warehouse, of course they were sold out of just the pieces I needed for the medium-size wardrobe frame.  I called my husband and we agreed, the taller frames would probably be fine.  I mean, most of their wardrobe frames come in the taller size, so wouldn't that mean that it should fit a standard ceiling height?

It turns out it's just two inches too tall to fit in our apartment.  I called around to try to cancel the order or see what my options are.  I realized that we were kind of in a bad spot.  To cancel the delivery and order a new, smaller frame would cost us lots of extra money.  I called the hardware store and, upon consulting with the lumber guy, it was decided.  We are going to buy a saw and try to customize this wardrobe ourselves, a la IKEA Hackers.

Well, I am excited to have the saw.  I think this is actually a really good outcome!  That is, assuming it works (which I will document here, of course).  Because once we have the saw, there are so many other things we can do!  I've been wanting to make a litter box hiding cabinet for a long time because I hate that the litter box creates a No-Fly Zone in an apartment where vertical space is at a premium.  The saw would help us cut the hole necessary to make a cat flap!  (When I showed this to my husband he got very excited because we have two litter boxes and they don't smell like roses)

I remember when I took a shop class when I was in middle school and the jigsaw was my favorite saw.  Looking back, I can't believe I used a jigsaw when I was 12 years old.  But it was my favorite.  I made very small little precise pieces on the jigsaw.  My favorite was a tiny little arrow I made from some scrap wood, about two inches long.  I put a magnet on the back of the arrow so it could point to things.  I ended up just sticking it to the inside of my Keroppi pencil box but it did a good job at pointing to things in there.

In any case, a saw opens up a world of customizing possibilities!  I also have other plans for customizing this otherwise very bland wardrobe.  It's going to be awesome!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Year in Review

I thought the best first post for 2012 would be looking back at 2011... also a good way to get to know me as I start my new online "brand" as robintzipi!

This collage is of memorable moments from each month ins 2011.  Some good, some sad, but this is what the past year looked like to me.

Sledding in Central Park with a friend from grad school... what an amazing experience!

Trip to Disney with the in-laws and all the family.  It was my first time joining them on their annual Florida / Disney trip!

Began experimenting with seedlings to plant in the spring.  The entire windowsill became a laboratory.


Our first (annual?) Lag B'Omer s'mores bonfire!

Well, Lucy (the kitten) actually joined us in May, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention her because she has been quite an active new member of our household.

Seeing some success in the garden!  But my tomato plant has fallen mysteriously ill, and eventually it died without us eating the tomatoes.

A stressful time at work, as we learned our department would be shutting down.

Said good-bye to everyone I had been working with for the past year+ as the department closed and everyone relocated.

Happened to be a productive month in the art studio, amid holidays every week!

Grandma passed away at the beginning of the month (this image is of the view from her room), which set the tone for a quiet November.

Our big annual fried chicken and latkes Hanukkah party, ending 2012 with friends and fried deliciousness!

Welcome to the new robintzipi!
I look forward to sharing with you!