A Fond Farewell

December 31, 2012 § 10 Comments

Dear Readers, thank you for sharing our space for the past two years.

We started this blog to curate the art, people, and creativity that inspires us. This started out as a space to share with one another, but has grown to include so many of you. Curating content made us excited to be creators – Pakou as a crafter, Abigail as a photographer, both of us as writers.

After two years, we’ve decided to step away from blogging so we can spend more time creating in other ways. We’ve been grateful for your enthusiasm and your journey with us. You have been our community of inspiration.

Martha Graham once said, “No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

We’re going to continue creating. We hope you do too.

Screen shot 2012-12-29 at 4.56.00 PM

Love Pakou and Abigail

The Warmth of Winter Sunlight

December 27, 2012 § 3 Comments

This is the last month of my year-long, monthly themed photography project! My word for December was apricity, which means “the warmth of the sun in the winter.” I love that there is a word for such specific warmth. I also love that I got a whole month to photograph light, which I’m drawn to anyway. (And though apricity refers to sunlight, I have a few scenes of winter light (i.e. Christmas lights) because that conveys warmth as well.

I came across the word apricity last winter and decided it would be the word I ended on. I envisioned fresh snowfalls and light glistening from the ground. But much changes in a year. I moved to Chicago, where there are rainy and grey skies, but no snow and no pretty landscapes and certainly no glistening. It wasn’t until the last few days of the year that I found snow. Here are my favorites from the month.

lake at winter

Chicago neighborhood

Chicago downtown

cup in sunlight

winter dinner

winter moonlight

View the rest here.

I’ve loved doing this project as it was over the course of the year that I began to see myself as a photographer. I was even asked by several people to take photos at their events! Thanks to many of you who commented on these posts or encouraged me in person. You gave me confidence to keep snapping away.

Still Life in Pears

December 17, 2012 § 3 Comments

My break before Christmas means more time to get things done. My roommate and I brainstormed this very tasty concoction months ago. We put it on our kitchen to-do list and it’s been there ever since:

kitchen to-do list

Yesterday, I finally made it. Dubbed “Croissant Goodness” and “Still Life in Pears,” it was worth the wait.  A half-hearted Google search did not reveal this combination anywhere within the cybersphere. So here it is in all its supposed originality.

Pears & Gorgonzola Croissants

To make it, dice two pears into small pieces. Sprinkle with sugar and place in a shallow baking pan in the oven at 350 degrees for about a half hour to soften. In the meantime, slice one onion into long pieces. In olive oil or butter, cook over low heat in a skillet until carmelized/the pears are done. Combine pears and carmelized onions (if we’d had crushed walnuts, those would have been good to add too).

Take two cans of Pillsbury croissants (extra buttery or flaky!) and unravel on a flat surface. Spoon pear/onion mixture down the length of each piece of dough. Generously sprinkle Gorgonzola or Bleu cheese (we had did half of each) over the mixture.

Pears & Bleu Cheese Croissants

Roll croissant as you normally would. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 375 degrees. Eat while warm. Share or hog!

Notes on Survival

December 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

After finishing my first semester of grad school, I’m celebrating a few good things:

1.) I’m teaching writing & rhetoric to college freshmen next semester! In preparation I created and submitted a literacy narrative – a story about a moment when composing or reading a text became significant to me – to the Digital Archives of Literacy Narratives. This is a great site with interesting, multimodal compositions, and it’s something I may have my students participate in. My earlier blog post “Twas Brillig and Shook Me to the Core” was a draft. You can listen to the final version here.

2.) I have three poems forthcoming in Columbia Poetry Review. I’m so honored as this issue features some of my favorite poets: Rae Armantrout, David Trinidad, Heather Christle, and Kirsten Kaschock.

I’m not sure I could have made it through, though, without plenty viewing of the following:

1.) We posted this in one of our first blog posts, but it still cracks me up and inspires.

2.) I love this music and this video. It makes me so happy. It will get you through your day.

Self-Portrait in November

December 3, 2012 § 3 Comments

I’ve been wanting to do a series of self-portraits ever since seeing Vivian Maier’s unique collection, but I’ve also been a bit shy about it. It’s seems somehow egotistical or self-absorbed to post all photos of myself – and more vulnerable too.

I’ve definitely learned more about my body in the process – like my incredibly bad posture (I may finally listen to my mother and stand up straight!), where I need to work on my lines in yoga positions, and how in photos and in life I prefer to glance to the side rather than straight on. But I’ve also been obsessed recently with Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on how our body language shapes our mentality. Her opinion is that standing in postures of power and confidence for a few minutes will change how we think about our role in a situation. It’s been interesting over the month how my postures have oscillated between confidence and vulnerability. Both are positive and needed, I think, but they are each best in different situations. I am working towards both at the right times.

Here are a few highlights from the month.

writing in the kitchen with teahallway self-portrait

silhouette

shoulderafter a long night

hand reaching

You can view the rest here.

Weekend Do: Poetry Edition

November 29, 2012 § 2 Comments

I can’t help it. I’m immersed in poems. Here are all the books I’ve received in the last month from my poet friends – so much to read!

If you don’t like poetry, then start small. Take this sweet, brief poem by Robert Bly, and consider someone’s hands this weekend.

“Taking the hands of someone you love,
You see they are delicate cages . . .
Tiny birds are singing
In the secluded prairies
And in the deep valleys of the hand.”

These are the hands of people I love:

And remember that your life is your life. Know it while you have it.

Paucity in October

November 19, 2012 § 3 Comments

So I’m way late in posting my October photos, largely because there was a paucity of time on my part in getting them done and lately a paucity of computer access (another trip to the Apple store is due tomorrow…). But I’m posting them now, the theme of which – if you couldn’t tell by now – was paucity or lacking, which is odd, perhaps, to think about lack a few days before Thanksgiving. But maybe helpful. Maybe the first step to leaning into gratitude is considering lack.

As usual, I didn’t quite know when I chose this month’s word what I would be taking pictures of. A lot of empty plates, I supposed. I think my mentality veered more towards simplicity. Not trying to capture a lack, but trying to strip down and take away, to let lack focus the subject. Which perhaps meant I noticed a lot of bare walls and light. I also found myself looking at very cluttered, very busy scenes and still finding something missing from them. Parked cars without an even, straight line. Party lights with no people to make the party.

In editing, I wanted to make a few photos black and white, and yet I found I liked them more with just a small amount of color, a yellow tinge to a shadow or a grayish wall. So I guess a lack without a complete absence of color was another way this theme played out.

Here are a few highlights.


You can see the rest here. And I’m working on November’s theme. May your Thanksgiving be abundant.

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