BACK TO BASICS: MAY SWAP

Yeah, technically this swap came in May…I just haven’t posted it because I’m sort of an a-hole. PRODUCTION and I went back to basics, reinstating our original 10 swap rules for a fresh start.

1. A trio of items - Shells - “There’s one inside”—I found that really charming for some reason +1

2. A square of ornate paper: I will accept the tissue paper since it has a decorative chick on it… : ) +1

3. Something found locally - Luddite postcard? +1

4. A postcard - Again +1

5. Something odd-sized - a fun decorative mirror for my dollhouse! +1

6. A found object - Hmm…maybe that little cardboard bit with the hands?  +1

7. A toy - plane kite!! +1

8. Something seasonal - Not seeing this one…

9. Packages must be sent by the 25th -  Don’t honestly remember, but I’m so late with this post, it hardly matters +1

10. $15 max (not including postage)  +1

TOTAL: 9/10 - TIE GAME. See how I did over at PRODUCTIONING!

April Swapping, Fool!

My swapmate has been on a winning streak for the last few swaps, and maybe she’s done it again…Let’s see what’s the what:

1. A trio of items - 3 esoteric temporary tattoos. neat! +1

2. A pattern - not seeing it…

3. Something found locally - postcard from Gramercy Tavern +1

4. A postcard - same again +1

5. Something odd-sized - LEETLE STUFFED PANDA!!! +1

6. Two things that go together - well, okay - there are these two little metal bits and they clearly go together…but I have no idea what it is. what is that thing? +1

7. Something feminine - I think a nail file shaped like a lady is undeniably feminine +1

8. Something old, used or vintage - that metal thing? WHAT IS THAT THING?? + 1

9. Something edible - I recently gave up eating sugar, but luckily this is the grossest-sounding candy ever +1

10. Something found in nature - neat, what’s that called? hematite? +1

11. An organizational item - silver binder clip +1

12. Something international - oh, Japan. don’t go changing +1

13. An animal - LEETLE PANDA BEAR!!!!1! +1

14. Something to read (not a book, necessarily) - these tattoos are cool +1

15. Something for the KITCHEN —-> changed from something for the table - I know Fishs Eddy when I see it +1

16. Something made of glass - again +1

17. Something to wear - tattoos +1

+18. Something handmade - LEETLE TINY PANDA BEAR OMG! +1

19. Packages must be sent by the 1st - +1

20. $15 max (not including postage) - +1

Wow, 19/20. I’m starting to think PRODUCTION can’t be beat.

1. A trio of items

2. A pattern

3. Something found locally

4. A postcard

5. Something odd-sized

6. Two things that go together

7. Something feminine

8. Something old, used or vintage

9. Something edible

10. Something found in nature

11. An organizational item

12. Something international

13. An animal

14. Something to read (not a book, necessarily)

15. Something for the KITCHEN —-> changed from something for the table

16. Something made of glass

17. Something to wear
+18. Something handmade

19. Packages must be sent by the 1st
20. $15 max (not including postage)

1. A trio of items

2. A pattern

3. Something found locally

4. A postcard

5. Something odd-sized

6. Two things that go together

7. Something feminine

8. Something old, used or vintage

9. Something edible

10. Something found in nature

11. An organizational item

12. Something international

13. An animal

14. Something to read (not a book, necessarily)

15. Something for the KITCHEN —-> changed from something for the table

16. Something made of glass

17. Something to wear

+18. Something handmade

19. Packages must be sent by the 1st

20. $15 max (not including postage)

Realtime Photography: Documenting My Boring Life, Not Yours

Last night, I was in conversation with a friend bemoaning the lack of photo coverage at literary events he used to organize in New York.

"Did you invite photographers?" I asked. He conceded that attendance was mostly comprised of other writers. This same friend now writes for an art blog, and as such I regularly attend events with him-for companionship, no doubt, but also because my habit of photo-documenting my surroundings provides valuable visual aids for his blog posts.

Being a realtime photographer has advantages and drawbacks. One advantage is that my obsessive chronicling and subsequent posting provides me a relatively solid timeline that I can refer to when trying to, say, reconstruct how I’ve spent my New Year’s Eve for the last 5 years (it probably reflects poorly on me that it’s much harder to do by memory). One disadvantage is the slight insecurity of never knowing if I’ve been invited someplace in the hopes that I will take photos so the host doesn’t have to bother with it.

Because it is a bother. I’ve noticed, since moving to Detroit and becoming a more active participant in my life, that photography involves a kind of stepping-back from the scene - it’s hard to capture something and be a part of it at the same time. Lately I have forgone obsessive documentation in favor of being a more active participant in my surroundings, but attending these art openings and readings with my friend has forced me back into a practice of what may loosely be defined as “event photography.”

I dislike event photography. It goes against the grain of my every photographic interest. People in hokey poses, jumping out of the flow of life to group and smile for the camera. Stagey surroundings engineered for their photogenic nature. Flash, flash, and more flash. The sheer redundancy. My friend who makes a solid living as a wedding photographer once sent me a list - “25 must-get shots for the wedding photographer” - the very idea of this pedestrian scavenger hunt for the same 25 shots that every wedding photographer is also trying to get makes me want to smash my camera. It’s not that I won’t take pictures at weddings, it’s just that the things I find interesting are more likely to be shadows at play on the tabletop or kids at play behind the pews, not the millionth shot of the bride putting on mascara. I can’t fully understand if there are artistic principles at work behind professional event photographers; is the passion for them merely to point a recording device at something and push a button? What are they getting out of that 25-shot list besides a paycheck? If the paycheck is all, I can get paid more for doing something I have zero interest in.

Which brings me closer to my artist statement as a photographer, and the real reason I can never make a living doing event photography-the event I’m documenting is MY life, not your wedding. If it’s so important to you, might I humbly suggest that you be the one to photograph it.

January Swap - Back and Swappier than Ever

I have zero excuses for why it’s taken me so long to post pics from the first amazing year-o-the-dragon swap from PRODUCTION and I’m not going to waste more time thinking of some. Let’s get down to it - my inimitable swapmate rang in the new year with a resolution-themed swapped, each item representing one of 10 resolution. Let’s puzzle this out together!

1. A trio of items - I will grant this point to the 3-panel original photo-haiku created in accordance with Resolution #12 - Tell the people I love that I appreciate them. Serious aw-factor +1

2. A pattern - fuzzy patterned paper, and a reminder to #3 Get off the grid more often  +1

3. Something found locally - That awesome postcard was found on/pictures Mulberry St - near the old stomping grounds, which remain remarkably unchanged, as far as foot-traffic is concerned +1

4. A postcard - See above. As for the resolution…#4 - Eat local, eat healthy? Italian specialties! +1

5. Something odd-sized - Not this time.

6. Two things that go together - Again, a stretch, but I’m giving it to the two-piece vintage glass chicken, because I love it so much I could cluck. This obviously embodies resolution #8 - Take risks, don’t be a chicken! +1

7. Something feminine - Well, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, so this little bracelet is at least my new best frenemy and a great way to #9 Start buying the finer things. +1

8. Something old, used or vintage - Vintage salt-dish chicken. Which really blows my mind because I was seconds away from buying one just prior to the swap, and demurred. I must have known it was taken care of. +1

9. Something edible - I must say, these candies were more fragrant than edible, but the point stands.  +1

10. Something found in nature - She’s right - this one is murder in the winter months.

11. An organizational item - How am I going to keep track of all the delightful beers Michigan has to offer? Now I know. #7 Get drunk…er…organized. +1

12. Something international - A Honduran dollar, very cool. And an excellent reminder to #2 Travel more. +1

13. An animal - Chicken. +1

14. Something to read (not a book, necessarily) - Really, the haiku killed me, and all my foot dragging has enable me to show you the frame I made for it, still drying, but comprised of paper ephemera from our special Xmas swap  +1

15. Something for the table - Alright, chicken. That’s about enough out of you. +1

16. Something made of glass - Gah! Damn you, chicken!! +1.

17. Added—-> Something to wear - Riiiight, I appear to be wearing that bracelet. +1

18. Packages must be sent by the 1st +1

19. $15 max (not including postage) +1

Final Score 17/19 - ooh, dawg, that’s two in a row for PRODUCTION. You can click through to see my score. I gotta get back on my game.

Note the additional items - an adorable paper robot & its robo-dog, because she’s already #6 Find more time for arts & crafts, and a honeybee candle for when I #1 Find more time to relax. How’d I do on that game? My resolution should be to smarten up!

Looking back at the art I made when I was a little girl, it is very clear to me that I haven’t changed a bit. I am that same happy, free spirit making art out of objects, putting lots of color into my work, and collecting and building things. I try to view the world with as much wonder and amazement as I did when I was a child. Life is short - be open-minded, stay genuine and nurture that child within! It’s a magical thing when you make art your whole life, when the urge to create is bigger than you are and you just let it come out when it wants to. I feel very fortunate to have a creative mind that constantly keeps me re-inventing my own wacky reality!
Nicole, Toodle Pip Studios

November Swap - Good, Old-Fashioned Intrigue!

This month PRODUCTION went upstate, and I reaped some sick benefits from her antiquing field trip. Also of note, we exchanged some like items - both of us sent the other a small metal tray and two bottles. We are the swap. Resistance is futile.

1. A trio of items - 3 chocolate gold coins from Peter Luger Steakhouse. +1

2. Something Fragrant - Rose soap petals. Love. I’ve been meaning to get something nice for the onset of bath season, and now I have it. Now that it has been photographed, I can get on with the delight! +1

3. Something found locally - Peter Luger is for sure a Brooklyn institution, famous for 100 years, or so these coins would have it. +1

4. A postcard - Vintage Brooklyn. +1

5. Something odd-sized - Little bottles. Little bottles. You can see I couldn’t even wait to photograph them before getting them into the kitchen. +1

6. Two things that go together - Tiny bottles! Observant viewers will note an item from past-swap in that picture as well. A lot of things end up around the kitchen (you will feel right at home when you come visit hint hint). +1

7. Something feminine - This little coin purse fits perfectly with my new style, which is grandma-chic. Love it. +1

8. Something old, used or vintage - Everything, pretty much. +1

9. Something edible - Say it with chocolate. Or nonpareils.  +1

10. Something found in nature - Mutual fail!

11. An organizational item - Hm…the tray? That would be debatable, except it fits perfectly into my plan to try http://pinterest.com/pin/31103053646167698/ +1

12. Something international - Those nonpareils are a foriegn delight! +1

13. An animal - fish bottle. +1

14. Something to read (not a book, necessarily) - Oh my god, it warms my heart that my friends have accepted my claim that I am a private detective, despite never solving the case. I think I’m framing this PI letterhead for my office — see how good it goes with my PI desk lamp?!  +1

15. Something for the table - Hmm. No

16. Added ———> Something made of glass: Bottles. Brilliant! +1.

17. Packages must be sent by the 25th (judging by the cancellation date on the stamp) - we were both on top of our game this month, which is great because that OCD shopping list really would have put me to shame if I hadn’t made it to the PO in time +1

18. $15 max (not including postage) +1

Final Score 16/18 - It was a good run, but PRODUCTION aced me out this month! Killer swap from a good egg.

Next month, we are taking a holiday break, so swapping will return in January.