March 29, 2010

Create a mocumentary that runs in a 10k: CHECK.

My main project for the last couple of weeks has been

And, let me explain a tiny bit.  

I joined forces with enthusiastic creative people here in town- because when you yourself are crazy, you look for crazy.  

I found it. 

RVA Curling is a costume team. We wanted to make a costume that went the extra mile. In this case... one that went 6.2 miles.

We made a costume that would run a 10K.

This is what a costume explosion looks like. 

check out videos. bios. pictures. etc.
and it's not over... a wrap up video is coming.

On the site, you can meet our team:

We love this city. So, we decided to celebrate it with a costume that turned into a mocumentary. is a group of 6 people that find it easy to go really far with an idea. Too far?  Yes. over board. and then some.

As an offshoot, we have sent true curling fans to a club that actually wants to see curling in the river city. Unique supporting Unique.

There is a lot of ambiguity in what we have done.

I will tell you this- I have curled.


and it was on pavement. with a giant oversized stone and nearly 40,000 runners whizzing by.

Hey- wait.. we passed some people. Talk about hard.

The guy(s) running as the stone. (switched at water stops) well- they never vomited. but we did lose a broom along the way. It was stolen when we got water. believe it.

Andddd I was pushed when the flag I carried for 2 of the miles took a man's hat off. He was angry. I didnt feel it. but the entire team saw. and said it was all kinds of awesome.

We shared the costume burdens and passed the target, flag, and stone. Changing out every two miles and jumping right back on the course.


We went to the runners packet pick up the night before the race dressed in full uniform.  When we were recognized, I screamed. 

twitter is our best friend.

we also love any shout out we have gotten. ever.

most common comment was "oh!. currrlinggg" and a slight smile. as the person felt they solved the puzzle of: WHO ARE THOSE PEOPLE?!

Robin gets a massage at the expo.

We curled 6.2 miles down Monument Avenue.

Stone chases the target the whole way. One giant launch that we kept moving through  the crowds...

This is the picture in the newspaper. mad happiness that we got in this formation in 9 seconds. we died.

Oh p.s. This was a pre race pasta load. AND when racing we got 2 shout outs of people that saw us at the restaurant and made the connection-  YOU GUYS ATE AT ARIANNA'S LAST NIGHT!! YEAHHHHH.

heck yes we did.

Some of how it happened:

quilted the flag. Champion team work.

behind the scenes filming the video:

best sign ever.

real city. real team.

real effort.

Want to see more of how over the top happens?

Late nights. Early mornings. and commitment to a dream.


We invented something from nothing.

Curling provided the Avenue to send crazy down... in blue checked pants and red headbands. and jackets we sewed and ironed into team uniforms. with running sculptures and a quilted flag.

This is a parading performance piece. 

That celebrates the artistic creativity working in our backyards... and running through our streets.

Go team.
Proud of you.



March 24, 2010

When you go overboard. it is always the best idea.

The Monument Avenue 10K has a costume competition. Start there. then explode. and you get THIS. This is what happens when a group commits to a piece. This is what one giant art performance piece looks like:

RVA CURLING TEAM <---website link

Go to the site above. click on it. watch the videos. read the bios.

And if you are in town and going to the Monument Avenue 10K SATURDAY March 27th-  come support the RVA Curling Team. Wear Red. make signs. We will be running. and curling. and acing it.

Believe it.

We do.

March 23, 2010

golden sweaters and golden lollipops

Support comes from unlikely places. Thank goodness.

Rushing from the office to the studio, I stopped by the bank.  But, I stopped by my old location and not the one I frequent now...

At my old bank stop there was this one teller who always got a kick out of what I was up to.

She mostly thought my name was interesting. because she's naturally cool. and, we were friends because she changes her hair pretty drastically on a regular basis. and I support that kind of artistic boldness.

she always liked that I could tell. even though she'd brush her hand through her hair and say... "eh. we'll see. tryin somethin new." small smile on the outside. large grin on the inside.

and there are times I love being called "honey" or "sweetheart"... because sometimes you need to hear it.  and it is completely appropriate coming from the Southern bank teller with a kind expression and a magenta blouse. 

so- before I realized it, I heard a familiar- "Well look who it is!! why haven't I seen you around here sweet girl?!!"

She was thrilled I swung into her lane. I was happy too. Because she wanted to know what I was working on. 

and she is magical- because without any incentive other than being smart and clever. she told me she had

a yellow lollipop that I needed. 

to go with my yellow sweater. 


March 22, 2010

MINDS WIDE OPEN: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts


MINDS WIDE OPEN: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts

is the first statewide celebration of its kind. Between March and June of 2010, thousands of special events will occur to honor contributions by women to arts and culture. Any individual or group can participate by presenting at least one public program focused on women.

The University of Mary Washington Galleries bought one of my paintings in 2005. So, it is part of their permanent collection and will be included in this exhibit.

Neat. <----Click here.


March 19, 2010

oh joy

How legit is it to comment on how many people are looking at your blog or following you?... because I am about to do it.

 I had a mini dance party on the inside when I saw I have 9 followers. what?... if you made reservations for 9 that would be a large party.. not a small one. that would be a large book club.. and you'd even have to take 2 cars if you were going somewhere. If someone had 9 kids you would say. woah. thats a lot of kids. John and Kate only had 8.

This blog is new. I feel the same way about it that I felt in 6th grade when I wore my first "fitted t shirt." If you aren't a girl, you don't realize that taking the step from the normal t-shirt to fitted shirt was a big deal. It opens doors. At least that was true when I was in 6th grade. And maybe it is true if you have only big brothers and no one has paved the fashion road for you at all....bc you are wearing Hulk PJs still.

The fitted t-shirt had a silver Batman logo made of glitter. and I thought--- " I am going out on a limb here. " I was super confident and felt really good about my decision.. but also a little nervous. and sometimes a lot nervous. mostly just taking a leap. and in 6th grade I felt like I aced it. 

By the end of the day, my visitor count will be over 300. which is teeeeny tiny but to me is a giant victory. and in celebration... I will... keep doing what I am doing.  

And, in other exciting news- I have received some fabulous feedback too. including this amazing cartoon that MARTIN WILSON sent me. thank you Martin. I love it. It relates all too closely to my life. ~ these types of conversations take place at every wedding, baby shower, bridesmaids luncheon, Christmas party....

and I am the opposite of bitter about it. I think it is that link that bonds artists. It is part of being an artist. 

Answering these sort of questions. so -  Own it.

Success Story by Billy Burg

and don't get me wrong I'm still nervous a lot of the time. like right now- Im sporting one of those poofs on the top of my head. and I only had one bobby pin on the floor of my truck. so it's abnormally high and comes to a direct point. I am acting like it is on purpose and staying cool ....wonder who sees through me?...probably no one.  

main point- you can be nervous and brave at the same time ... bc my dad always said-  being brave is not being unafraid... it's doing it anyway. because you are afraid... and you still do it. 

that's being brave. 

2009, painting the set floor for Old Kent Road Theater's I Stand for Nothing

general plan: 

in one night?... mother of...

let's do it.

Stage started completely black.  

Threw down some color. with help from my brother and some friends...the plan was to make it look like wood with a drawing over top.

friends left. brother napped in the elevated risers of the theater... and I painted through the night...

in the morning we left. locked the theater at dawn. 

Manhattan mornings are peaceful and quiet.

There it is.


My nephew is learning this. The tub seems huge compared to the sink. But he is so brave.

March 18, 2010

Make it work

In the morning, I usually get ready in 10 minutes once my feet hit the floor (may take years for them to hit the floor but thats not the point). I am not bragging. There is nothing cool about getting ready that fast, but it is the only way to maximize sleep and head out ASAP to my day job. 

So, I hang my head upside down and throw my hair into a knot without looking in the mirror until it is too late and my creation has been up there long enough to pass some live people. 

I'm usually all Miss Hannigan/Mrs. Lovett- like... at least I definitely was earlier this week when I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflective picture frame on my desk.  I thought I did some damage control when I noticed the state I was in while walking past my reflection in the hall.. but...yeah.. 

(Hannigan reference: ragged/crazy orphanage mother in Annie)
(Lovett reference: Sweeney Todd... need I say more) 

There are times in my day when I have to run outside for a breather. Today- out to my truck, to blast the music, and feel the sun. So that I know life is not gray like cube walls. and in life, you don't wear a head set.

sometimes I get milkshakes for the risk-taking coworkers. 

I love that JOY was the keyword on one of the flavors. real symbolic marker girl. you made my day more than you know. I love these treasure finds.

P.S.  a friend posted the link below in a genius move. Look at the similar boats. Hi team.

Some days I leave the day job, go to the gym, and get home in time to be irrationally tired. 

Other days, I kick it in high gear and get a lot of my art work done. 

I rush to my studio and build. 


this isn't my hobby. 

March 17, 2010

magically delicious

When is this ever a bad idea?...

Not only was I starving at the point when I grabbed this at CVS. yes. CVS. but it has the same comfort food effect on me that you would think fried chicken, mac and cheese, and okra have. Yes, those are super comfort foods. but this.... this is "everything is ok" food.

This is "chill out, all you have to worry about is little league and when shorts season starts" food.  I felt better.

March 16, 2010

a good morning

It is a good morning. Because spring is slipping in through my curtains. The ones I vow to cover with light blocking shades, but can't follow through with because there is something about waking up to bursting light that makes me happy and reminds me of my Great Aunt Lolly's house. I thought only her house had that feature when I was little. and then I realized you too can do this with thin curtains. :) 

---By the way, you aren't rich if your family has a swing set. or Icee Pops in the fridge. Something I also misunderstood. some of you had both. I couldn't believe it. ---

My Spring is going to be a lot of work. 

Currently I am working on a team project that I will definitely post in a week. 

but I also need to get moving on this exhibition I dream of... Its a carnival/art show/installation/party. 

And... The doves are back. over the front door. 
Hampster Eyes and Delores. This will be their third time having babies with us! They must know my sister is a labor and delivery nurse.

 I also think they trust us. 

March 13, 2010

Carousel Celebration

One in a series of drawings.

 Look closely for stitches. 

I break a lot of sewing machine needles. and every time I do this, I think it is the end of the world. For what reason I don't know. It's just that when the needle on the sewing machine breaks, you have to stop your entire plan and replace it. 

It is always something with a sewing machine. 

If you sew, you know what I am talking about. The whole " Oh great I have one more thing to do then I will be done with.."....THUMP.   The machine halts and makes that buzz sound as if it is completely ruined on the inside and every time you press the pedal, you are making some giant knot of thread and machine parts worse and worse. 

It is a growl that the machine makes. Part angry. Part mocking.

But in reality. when I chill. take a breather. and open the machine up... usually the fix takes a matter of minutes. Ok... usually.  not always.

Don't get me wrong. I hateeeee when this happens. and it always does. There is no telling when you will finish a project of any sort, because inevitably, the machine will eat something, break, stop moving etc. 

But, the truth is, I can fix it. So far, I always have. Even if it once meant meeting my mother across town in a dark parking lot at 1 am because the next day I was driving to NY with theater pieces and the machine needed a part she happened to locate from a dear friend.

Thank goodness for mothers that rule at life and understand what is important. 

This is the same mother that slept on our couch at home until I was done with a term paper in high school. Because at our house, there was no printer.  And, when you finished a paper at 3 am, she would rise up off the couch and drive you to the all night Kinkos copy center to print out the paper. 

Im lucky. 

so I celebrate these things. With new collections. Like this. 

The Carousel Collection.


March 12, 2010

little girl. little girl.

Girl skips into shop with a gold crown on, flowy dress, leggings, about 3.5 feet tall, hair sticking out in FRONT of the ears.

Girl: " what do they have here?!"

Grandma glides in. Unnecessarily long sweater. Glasses hanging around neck. Hair scooped up in a clip.

Grandma: "burrito...umm... scones... eggs-which you hate-. bagels... oh A BAGEL WITH CREAM CHEESE!" 

Girl: "no no no"  thinks..."I want THAT muffin!" 

Grandma: "no, that muffin is cappuccino chocolate. not for you. How about a scone and we split it?"

Girl: "no"

Grandma: " oatmeal?"

Girl: "no"

Grandma: "ooooo... orange cranberry muffin?!!"

Girl: "no" 

(girl sighs...)

Girl: "...oh I know."  girl states with certainty and as if a completely new idea. thought of by her............................  "I WANT A BAGEL WITH CREAM CHEESE."

SAME. little girl. I HEAR YOU.

March 10, 2010

Im in love with the sunshine

I find that I focus on a piece and suddenly feel so disjointed from it because it's not directly meshed up in my life. (get used to my own configuration of words.)

the raw and real qualities in the work that I cherish are because life affects my work. it IS my work.

It's my career- to make art.  and as cliche as it is. art is everything. take one drawing class and start a sketchbook. get a good teacher. you'll see. if you get it... it will be like when French all of a sudden made sense and you could hear it without knowing exactly why. until it was written out and analyzed for you.

here is some of my work. that hasn't been shown. and that I'm not sure exactly how to show. or what to do with it. but i love it.

I battle with when and where and how to show these pictures. and what people will think of me. who dont realize that this is something beautiful and real... but I decided- if I just harbor these, they'll never get sunlight .
and really. I love the sun.

My dads favorite colors were oranges and yellows and such. mostly orange. but the same goes for him when it came to the sun.
We go to his grave a lot and by the standards of others, we probably disrespect the area... but - to us. it's the best way to respect my dads life. 
I add glitter, tobasco bottles, and figurines...
We throw beach towels and eat subway on fathers day. and sweat in the sun until we all realize it's much too hot and we laugh at our loyalty to these charades.

and then, last summer. when it was turning to fall - we went ALL OUT with the orangey yellowness.  I wore my yellow skirt.

and I jumped.

and my sister supported the idea. and my mom did too. even though as the mom, she had to say things like- "Abby stop, people are going to think we are crazy."  and her speech was glittered with "yalls" and laughs.

and we stopped for a minute. when we realized I was squishing worms with my bare feet. and I freaked. and mom inspected them.

she loves nature. and she thinks creatures are fascinating.  and then. I jumped again. and so did my sister. and the cars came in and out. and we toned it down a bit. for their sake. because it was their place too.  but dad was rolling.

 and this is the art of mourning. and celebrating.

Today I am wearing my favorite sweater with a bow on it. It screamsssss HELLO BEAUTIFUL WEATHER!

I'm in love with the sunshine.

i love music. almost more than everything.