Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Listless while listful

I was forced to take a break for the past couple of days once the storm took away our internet. I was amazed and saddened, too, by how dependent our lives are on this weird invention. Anyhow, while I am able to surf off of neighboring wifi, just coming out from under to say hello! I have had to go to a post office one town over because ours is still powerless, so the books are not getting out there as quickly as I'd like, but I have been learning a lot about things not going my way when the wind is having its way. I'm sad that the foliage was erased in a day, but glad that all I lost was screentime, not power or health or loved ones.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Strong waves

[The river has been choppy all day and LOTS of people have come by just to gawk and shoot pics.] The pile was finally replenished! Good, because I already had sold out last night and was worried I'd be stuck with no books to send out into the world. As soon as I uttered the worry words about it, bang, bang! Open the door to two boxes. Then later, bang, bang! And two more. There were supposed to be five in this shipment but this is a great start.
I ordered multi-d boxes and am so excited to get them BUT of course they don't ship on rainy days. So who knows when I will get them. In the meantime, I'll work by candlelight to build the ones for orders I have waiting right now. J/k, we still have electricity! But the internet is out (I'm on someone else's wifi), and along with that, a few other things. Things are really crazy when I don't have time to cut my own nails because I hate the feeling, having been a violinist. This happened in Cleveland for the first time ever, and is happening again now. Now that I'm finally trimmed, I feel less cranky when typing. But I'll still walk away now to make boxes.

Also, thanks to those who are sharing the news: London Korean Links and Hanji Happenings!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A few more hugs

Ominous weather aside, I rushed into town to see Rie Hachiyanagi's installation at Tenri on its last day so I could meet with her. I caught her right before she left Cleveland last week but was excited that I could actually see her work in person for once and talk more about her process, documentation, ability to do and learn anything (this included building scaffolding to install this show!), and performance work. We shared some hilarious stories over tea and I appreciated how articulate she was about everything she does.
[The main gallery houses the abaca and roving but the front of the installation is all plexi, thread, and monofilament. You can barely make out the rectangular shapes in the window space.] Once I got back home, I got to rush out again to see an old friend who is briefly in town for family/work. Eric and I walked to a cafe run by our old classmate and did some much-needed catching up. I don't remember the last time we saw each other in person since he lives in Chicago and I haven't been forEVER. It meant a lot to me that he walked away with one of my books. It was also great to spend most of the day not tearing my hair out with marketing my book and my upcoming events. I love new and old friends!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pining for last week

I don't know how to attribute all of these photos but figured I'd flesh out what I had left on my camera because last week was so much more fun than this week. This is Karla Elling and her hat!
This is the one image I can't attribute and I'm embarrassed but the scarf was too lovely and delicate not to show. Share if you can identify the artist!
 Marjorie Tomchuk, in a blur.
 The rest of Erica's fabulous outfit.
 Jocelyn Chateauvert, and I think the dress involved lots of walnut dye but I could have heard wrong.
Marilyn Wold (at left) designed three pieces but only two are in the photo (I was too close to the front to get them all at once). She is very kind and gentle and sold me a lovely sugeta last year when I was quite depressed (which didn't change the depression, but I'm glad it passed and I still have the sugeta).

Oh, and the FDH blog has announcements from me plus a shot of my demo in Cleveland. Fun stuff. Plus Melissa shared her take of the marvelous gathering of huggers here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The load grows

[Gold: paper from the conference live auction; spirals from Velma, as well as the ecoprinted bag!] Now that the book is on sale, I have run out of excuses to not get onto social media (not really; I still hope I can avoid it though I know I'm deluding myself), send press releases, and cut a book trailer. But what feels more pressing are applications for the near and far future, to reach toward an always shifting life. And those require enormous sucks of time, energy, and faith. Plus, I am preparing for spring and summer teaching gigs, which would be easy if I taught the same thing each time, but I want to try new things. If I'm lucky, I'll finish one big packet of teaching materials, an interview for my book, and more application revisions by the end of the night. If not, then I start all over tomorrow (and fondle paper still strewn all over the floor, post conference, in between tasks).

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The book has arrived

I didn't think it would happen this quickly, but my book is finally available for sale! If you go here and then click through on the bottom, you can order online (either order as a person with a credit card, or choose the other link if you are ordering for a library, retailer, wholesaler, etc.).

Back to the recap:
Andrea is on the very left, keeping the runway line in the wings in order. Karla Elling's hat is entirely too fabulous, and made of lots of prickly pear skeletons (which I prefer infinitely over chicken wire).
Zulay with paper hat and scarf.
Danielle modeling for the Korean designers.

TOM! Going from a hat by Mike McLaughlin to a hat by Asao.

Bill in a war protest vest.
Asao trying to add commentary: his entire outfit is made from shifu (from hanji, I think, but can't remember exactly) but he had bought a scarf from a Korean designer that was part hanji and part silk. I was amazed, actually, to hear how much hanji in general was used as I listened to the descriptions during the whole runway show. Gratified, too.
Gibby and her outfit made entirely of paper, including the shoes!
Betsy and her book necklace.
Mimi in a paper hat and ecoprinted outfit. I was amazed to meet her because she works so hard but is so tiny! It was fun in general to meet people whose faces I had completely made up and constructed in my head for all these years. I am still recovering from conference and wondering how it will all ripple into my life.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Home, somehow

My publisher sold so many books that I only had 14 to take home (they don't even fit this box. It's padded and includes two copies of the book in sheets). It's now a published title!
Luckily, Julie helped me find a fabulous model for my dress so I didn't have to suffer through the runway show myself. Abbey is an intern at the Morgan and was an enormous help (plus, infectiously high-spirited).
Julie with Lauren, who is modeling Susan Kelley's dress. Julie made her own coat, and the colors are from indigo and persimmon dye. She used joomchi techniques to felt the blue to the base sheet under. She was also a total lifesaver this week, always in such a positive mood, a tireless worker bee for the Morgan (she's on their advisory board), and a hell of a lot of fun to be around.
This is another gorgeous creation by Julie, modeled by Mason's fiance, Kate (he is next to her, another enormous asset to the Morgan). I was telling Julie how incredible this garment was but she credits a lot of the oomph factor to beautiful Kate.
Abbey and Junia, who bought this hanji scarf on the first night of the trade fair; she looked fabulous in it and even performed later in the evening in a surprise song!
Erica made and modeled this fabulous dress. She is one of the many people I was so excited to meet in person, for the first time, after being in books and shows together and only knowing the name.
Tom in his tyvek jumpsuit, plus various other paper accessories (aside from the frog necklace, which is a real frog puffed up and complete with a zipper to make a little purse).
Kerri was behind these temporary tattoos that stand for Dard Hunter. I was so happy to see her again after years--she was the model of the ideal student, artist, and teacher when I first started grad school.
Abbey and Steph, who is modeling a Korean design by In Mi-ae. I had met Steph in Oakland when I was teaching at Mills and have advised her on grad school options, being a book artist, and doing research as a Korean American in Korea. It was great to see her so happy as a new MFA student in the Iowa program.
Seeing Sandy throughout the conference made me so happy. She's so warm and friendly and I love that she modeled a bag, complete with classy black gloves!
Kate in Julie's dress. Susan MC'ed the runway event, and the cardboard cutout looked on until auctioned off. I'll continue later with more images; that conference was SO packed that it's a miracle I ever made it home last night. Horrid traffic into NY added 2 hours to the drive, and I had to pull over for two naps, so I was in the car for almost 12 hours (that includes backtracking to the hotel in the morning after leaving my camera that night in a hurry--I felt like I had holes in my head the entire time from an average of 5 hours of sleep each night, a bit of a commute, and multiple responsibilities). But I'm in recovery now, heating up soup, and enjoying all of the goodies I brought home.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Not a lick of sleep

 My baby (the child before the book). Dry, but still helpful for people to see.
 Winsome Jobling's watermark devices (her demo was yesterday during mine so I couldn't witness any of it). I had lunch with Melissa and then drove to the Morgan because I wanted to go home. I LOVE this place and decided I'd rather stay and help clean and get ready for the reception rather than go on museum tours.
My favorite people before things got crazy at the Morgan: Julie, Tony, Tom pretending to stab Bruce (you can't see him but he's in the armchair). I really enjoyed the talks this morning. The Iowa grad students did a bang up job and I pulled them aside at the nighttime reception to make Korean/Islamic paper/tools connections/comparisons. I am so impressed with that program!
Kozo garden growing and yellow.
 A new nook behind the garage door; love these!
After attempting (unsuccessfully, mostly b/c I put my head on a cushion that was peed on by a cat) to nap, I enjoyed a lovely dinner cooked again by Mike, and then we all headed to the Morgan to start the gallery hop. I then drove a bunch of people around instead of being tied to the bus schedule. Andrea and Jon are on the left in a gallery converted from a church.
I couldn't resist getting into the random tub on top of the ramp outside of the Morgan. Julie snapped this. It's almost midnight and I still have to prepare a slideshow for my intro for Asao's talk tomorrow morning. I have to get to the hotel at 8am. It takes me about 25-30 minutes to get there, so I have another very early morning slated. But the good news is that I found a model for the runway/fashion show! I didn't want to wear my own dress (it's not really meant to be worn anyhow but don't ask why I entered the show), so Julie helped size up the conference crowd (she's a costume designer so she knows) and recommended an intern I hadn't met. We did a quick fitting tonight and hooray! I'm off the hook; I can just wear my own clothes, drink, and sit down. Of course I'm a performer, but I'm not a model.

We've sold about half of the books that my publisher brought and I've already had people starting to read who are enjoying it. I think about this small group of people in Cleveland with the book in their hands dotting the hotel or thereabouts. In a couple of days, we'll all scatter and it will, too. And I'll have a carload of them myself.

It gets later and later

Notice as this conference goes on that I get home later, get into bed later, take less pictures, and am too tired to insert hyperlinks. But it's still going strong and SO wonderful. My throat is shredded from running three demos back to back, 55-min each. Three hours of repeating the same thing is hard! I felt badly about my assistant Jennifer having to hear it so many times. But the response was great and this is the only picture I took today: the beautiful stand that Mason made for me yesterday in the wood shop in the back of the Morgan so that I could aim the webcam at myself. THE BEST IDEAS always come from Melissa--she suggested this to me after my August workshop. Whohoo! I finally got to meet some more paper world giants, and yet another Obie who has been in the paper world forever, Peter Sowiski. Mike fed me stew and a dumpling for dinner at about 10:45pm after the first big reception was over. Tony fed me lunch b/c I was famished and would otherwise never have survived my demos. I am utterly spoiled by the men of the Morgan and delighted to have such wonderful friends and helpmates.

Now, trying to stop the rambling so I can get a little sleep before another exciting day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No weight recorded yet, but born

[Asao's Heart Sutra hanging in the basement of Tom's warehouse.] Oh, my. It is too late to say much and I need to be up again in about six hours, so: WOW. I slept in this morning and had delicious dreams, a nice change from my usual nightmares. I ran errands oh so casually and slowly and then went to pick up Asao. He was setting up for his demo that he will do tomorrow afternoon, which made me realize: "Wait, I am doing a demo tomorrow, too! So I should set up now..." So I took him and volunteer Mary to the Morgan so I could run around and work with Mason to set up the projector. Of course, I had forgotten to bring my computer so we won't know exactly how it will all work tomorrow but it will. He is a sweetheart and even worked on constructing a stand for the laptop. Then I took Asao out to a Korean lunch and came back to do last-minute demo prep before I rushed over to the hotel to set up our table for the trade fair.
Luckily, I was there early enough to get my table adjacent to Cathy's, and when she came in with her boxes and boxes of books, she introduced herself and I extended my hand across the table but she raised her arms and said, "I feel like I know you so well and have to give you a hug!" She paid me a high compliment later, saying that I was nearly as anal as her, which made it easy to work together. I ran around trying to find her water and hadn't even seen the book. Apparently, the printers offered for it to be ready a half hour before setup. Problem, since the printer is in Michigan and the conference in Cleveland. She insisted that they be ready earlier, another one of her authors picked them up, and she breezed through light traffic to make it just in time.

Suddenly, I turn around and someone had the book in her hand and showed it to me as if I had seen it already. Velma was right that there would be some crying. The tears stayed in my eyes but it was really something. Asao was there to take pictures so we'll see if they came out okay. I have nothing but the image of the first pile of books above. That stack dwindled down in the first half hour of the trade fair and Cathy kept restocking the pile. Her other books were also selling like hotcakes. The baby comparisons are all spot on and she has been the most remarkable midwife.

If that was all, I'd still have a bit of energy. But tonight the conference opened, and I got to see old faces and meet new ones and it has only begun! There is still so much left to prep for both book signings (more blotters) and the demo (cutting down paper), but I'm so pleased with how everything has begun.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More than a charm

"Welcome home," is what a friend said when she saw me at the Morgan today. WOW. They always do incredible hangs of every exhibit, but this one takes the cake. I think there are five shows or something crazy like that there. This is just a piece of the big wall w/different papers.
The Colossal Paper show is all over the Morgan and they are HUGE and BEAUTIFUL.
Watermarks lit by bindery lights! Catherine Nash was teaching her encaustic class in there. She looks so different from what I imagined but SO warm and wonderful and enthusiastic.
This is some of the juried member's show, and it's impressive. I love seeing the field evolve and grow. The energy here is always special, but with this many people, it's insanely infectious.
Tim Moore was teaching a mould-making class. OMG! How is any of his work even humanly possible? His students were so engaged and excited and I was so impressed by how well-prepared he was for something he's never really done before (in terms of packing up lots of tools and equipment and samples, and then setting up shop and teaching all at once). It was the sweetest when, after the two-day workshop was over, one of his students excitedly explained intricate parts of the puzzle to me.
Del Foxton took this shot of me outside beating kozo. I didn't want to disturb the classes inside (India Flint and Helen Hiebert), so Christine helped me carry this station outside. BEAUTIFUL day. She just found out, minutes after we met in person, that she won a 20K artist grant. What a day! I had been so moved because she started to weep when I told her about my book because she was so emotional about waiting for news on her grant and so happy for me. In general, everyone I met today was so excited and proud about my book. Except for me; it's completely surreal. I feel like I didn't even do it or something--that's the weird part of the production process of these things. It's like what a friend said today about a show she made for this summer: "I don't even know the person who made that." I'm sure it will all feel more real tomorrow, when my publisher drives over the new books, but for now, I am so grateful for everyone's support and enthusiasm.
Like many things at the Morgan, I have no idea what this is doing on the ramp outside. But it looks great along the skyline (from a different angle you'd see it but the sun was fierce when I shot). I was so overwhelmed by the familiar and new faces in Asao's class today when I went to visit that I didn't get to take any pictures but they made AMAZING and wondrous work. I was so pleased to see him well rested and in his element. The conference has not even started yet and I feel like I'm at a family reunion of the largest possible kind, but in a good way. No crazy drunk careening relatives. Just lots of love. I kept on turning around and there would be another old friend, past student, colleague, new face connected to lots of back and forth emails, and it went on. I don't know if I've ever had a birthday with THIS many hugs. I feel so incredibly loved in this city on a normal day, but today I was sung to at least three times (and the final one right before midnight by a professional singer), got to blow out candles, take a good long morning alone, rise to love via text, get a kiss (chocolate!) in the kitchen before breakfast, and sooo much outpouring from the rest of the world. Today, loved enough to almost set me airborne.

I am lucky, fortunate. Imperfect, growing. Overwhelmed, grateful. It gets better every year!