October 25, 2009


National Novel Writing Month is coming up! It begins on November 1st, as it does every year. If you've never heard of it, but always wanted to write a novel, then this is the event for you! All the details can be found at:

This is something I DREAM of doing! Ever since I heard about it a few years ago I've wanted to participate, but first I had a job that deployed me to Antarctica during November, then I had a job that took up every hour of every day essentially, and then I went back to school and spent all my time studying. Which is where I still am. So once again, I won't be participating this year but I AM planning my class schedule so that hopefully NEXT year I can finally participate.

I think this is a fabulous opportunity for all writers, or wannabe writers (my category...), to put the pressure on themselves to complete a large piece of writing, and to have it read, AND possibly published. The worst thing that can happen is that you don't win. But either way, you end up with a novel that you wrote. Nothing bad can come from that. I'll be a bit envious, but also oh-so-psyched if you live my dream this year. NaNoWriMo. One short month. One long novel...

Stamps of the Week- Sheet Stamps

One of my smaller collections of stamps is a set of stamps that are all in sheets. I actually have quite a large stack of these now and I am never able to bring myself to break them up and use them in my artwork. Maybe someday. These are a few of my favorites...

I can definitely see using this little super hero in an art piece one day.

Clean lines and nice design on this next one. It has a Dr. Seuss-like quality to it.

I love these because they're really really small stamps.

Black and white stamps always top my list of favorites.

These are my favorite! I could never break this sheet of stamps up, though I have considered framing it. The colors and detail are amazing.

October 23, 2009

A Star is Born

I recently completed an art piece that I submitted for consideration for a gallery show. I love the colors in this piece and the swirling design, which reminds me of Sufi dancers.

This piece took a long time to create due to the amount of time that it took to lay out the design. After putting on 1-2 layers of stamps, the design had to be laid out and measured again in order to make sure it was still balanced and on track to end in the center of the canvas. This is one of the most complicated pieces I've made, though it might not look like it.

This is what 3,000+ stamps look like:

'Mixed History' 24" x 24" x 1.5"

I used to live in the Marshall Islands where the Marshallese make beautiful woven handicrafts and I purchased one with a beautiful 7 pointed star in the design. I really like the 7 pointed star and thought it would be an interesting design to try with my medium.

October 18, 2009

Stamps of the Week

I'm working on a really large canvas right now and needed to pull about 5000 postage stamps out of my collection for it, which means I spent hours sifting through stamps picking and choosing the ones I needed. This process would be a lot faster if I didn't stop to look at all the stamps. This part of the process never gets old for me because i just love looking at stamps. It's like walking through a museum and browsing art. These are some of the stamps I set aside today to be placed in my smaller thematic collections.

The flower stamps are always my favorites. Perhaps having something to do with the fact that I study plants... I love all of these for their great colors and shapes.

I went to Japan last year and saw modern day geisha in Kyoto. They were just as exotic and intriguing as they look in this stamp.

I've posted many ship stamps before from my smaller collection of ship stamps, but I just couldn't resist posting a couple more. I wish I could live on this first one.

I rarely ever get stamps from Mexico. I don't know why but there just don't seem to be many of them out there. I like this big head.

I don't actually like Halloween, but these are appropriate. This little dude is scary. I hope he doesn't come knocking on my door- he might rip the screen with his nose.

I want to walk into this stamp and go to the beach. Right now.

Could this stamp be a balloon hoax?

I swear I see this guy every morning in Boulder...

I love this little illustrated stamp- a nice addition to my bird stamp collection which is a bit decimated at the moment due to the use of all my bird stamps for an art piece I made a couple of months ago.

On a random note, I thought I had about 30,000 postage stamps in my collection but I've pulled out about 5000 for my latest art piece and it hasn't even made a dent in my collection! They take up so little space that it's really hard to estimate.

October 7, 2009

Stamps of the Week- Italian

These are a few stamps from my small collection of Italian stamps. I've used a bunch of the doubles in some of my artwork but at some point realized how collectively cool all of the Italian stamps are and started putting them aside in a smaller collection for an as of yet unthought of piece. These are just a few of my most favorite stamps from this collection.

This stamp is one of my all time favorites because it looks like you can just walk right into. And sometimes I'd like to....

Who doesn't love a good castle?

Always partial to all things tiny, especially tiny stamps.

More tiny stamps...

October 6, 2009

Container Potatoes!

Yesterday I decided it might be time to dig up the potatoes that I've been growing all summer in a big container in my little backyard. Once the plant stalks start to yellow, they're done.

You have to be really careful getting the dirt out so as not to puncture any potatoes buried in the dirt. I use a big plastic serving fork and an empty plastic plant container to break up and scoop the dirt out. And after digging a long ways down, I found my first two little potatoes!

Here's a closeup of one of the bigger potatoes that I was able to harvest.

Sadly, this next photo is the entire yeild of potatoes for the year! I was expecting a little more. I used the eyes from a HUGE baking potato and I thought it would yield more and/or bigger potatoes, but that's not the case. Perhaps the potatoes were simply too constrained by the size of the container. Last year I used fingerling potatoes (very small!) and the yield was close to double what I was able to harvest this year. C'est la vie. Next year, back to fingerlings in multiple and larger containers. The one thing I do know is that THESE potatoes will be the best I eat all year!

Growing potatoes are REALLY easy- even if you only have a little space. This website has some good instructions for easily growing potatoes in containers: