Monday, April 29, 2013

A Little Sunlight

All day I have been challenged with wanting to write something here, but have just stared at the blank space. A started my day off with a dance class and while it wasn't a class where I wanted to cry at the end; it did leave me feeling as though I am somehow getting worse instead of better. Sometimes it is hard to return to something you did when you were a teenager because I always think how I used to be able to do that, why can't I anymore? Then I get in my head and everything is downhill from there. My goal in class is to find a way to get out of my head and just dance no matter how awful my technique may be now. I think it will help me in more ways than just in ballet class.

In the last few minutes of this day I should try to remember something positive about this day. It was a sunny beautiful day and my daughter played in the sprinkler. Before I left for class my daughter was curled up in my dad's lap and they were reading the Little Mermaid. That made me happy.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Thing About Being From Colorado...

 AHeirloom's Colorado State Shaped Cutting Board

Whenever people make a special item that is shaped like your state - you kind of get screwed. Sigh.

Of course, I do have a North Carolina shaped cutting board. And, in reality, I could say that all of my cutting boards are shaped like Colorado.
AHeirloom's North Carolina State Shaped Cutting Board
Find your state here.

(picture sources: Colorado, North Carolina)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday Dance Video

Deep End Dance from Conor Horgan on Vimeo.

Making Deep End Dance from Conor Horgan on Vimeo.
Sometimes I start to feel as though I just hate everything. But, when something good comes along it only feels that much better. I really love this short dance film. It has a fully realized concept and a very sweet story.  Most importantly it needs no dialogue.

Along with the short film there is also a making of documentary. Even though it is a little annoying when people make these for short films (particularly when it is longer than the actual piece they are referencing). I did love how the director called dance films "cinema at its purest."

It is not quite fair to call silent films silent because there was always sound in film it just wasn't synchronized sound that allowed for peoples voices to match the movement of their lips. Often, it is considered that the art of filmmaking was greatly hampered by the advent of talking pictures in the 1920s. Just prior to 1927 the camera was really free and being used in amazing creative ways. Once sound came along it forced productions into sound studios and, since cameras were so noisy, they were sequestered into boxes and rooms and treated as though they were a problem (instead of the tool of the artist). This hampered the experimentation and exploration that was going on and it is often thought that filmmaking has never artistically recovered from that moment.

I love the idea that dance films could become the new way of connecting to this gap in our artistic growth. It also makes it understandable why it is so hard to make dance films, and even simply dance moments in films, truly great.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring Snow is Beautiful

We have been having another spring snow leaving us with nearly a foot of snow. I know lot's people are not enjoying it as much as me, but I love spring snow. It comes down in huge flakes and covers the grass quickly. Trees become coated in white and everything is quiet. The roads stay nice and don't become dangerous.

This afternoon the sun is coming out in full force. The sky is blue and the snow is rapidly disappearing. Already the roads are completely dry and the icicles are dripping. For the rest of the week the temperatures should be in the sixties and by tomorrow snow will be a distant memory, perhaps for only a few days if I am lucky.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ikea Booty

 We finally made it to Ikea. Yay! Now we will spend nearly all weekend trying to install and build everything. Hopefully by, err, Tuesday our house will feel more settled.

For one project we bought these Ikea stools that I am planning on spray painting gold and using a cushion top of it. The idea came from this tutorial though I am not planning on using lambskin. Both my daughter and I are  new proud owners of vanities, but we need some stools. For mine we have been using a really tiny children's stool for the past week and it works, but this will be better.

The bulk of what I got yesterday was for curtains (I know it is hard to see because everything is in bags). I have some horrible built in cabinets with a Murphy bed that I am planning on covering up with curtains. Anything should look better. Here's to a successful weekend for all.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

An Ikea Visit...please

Ever since we moved I have been waiting and waiting to make it over to Ikea. Mostly I need some curtains. Right now we have these vertical blinds that my daughter loves to play with and destroy. Plus, I guess they look better than horizontal blinds, but not that much better.

First I waited for financial reasons there were other more important things to buy. Then I waited because we were perusing Craigslist for some items and since Ikea is now nearly an hour away I needed to wait until I had a better idea of what we would need. I never go to Ikea on the weekends because it is always busy and will drive me insane so I am limited to weekdays. Last week we went to Breckenridge, during the week, when I thought I might go and now it has been snowing all week and keeping me away. I thought for sure I would go yesterday until a warning disturbed a morning cartoon warning of blizzards - in the same county as Ikea. Ugh.

When we lived in Denver sometimes we would head over there just to hang out. We could eat lunch on the cheap and my daughter would host tea parties in the show room. Perfect for cold days when you can't go to the park and have visited the museum one to many times that week.

And now, I need to go and am being kept away. Am I pathetic that this is controlling my thoughts right now? Perhaps, but I would really love some $20 curtains in my living room. Sigh.

(picture source)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday Dance Video

Swan Lake from patrick weishampel on Vimeo.

BODY BEAUTIFUL from patrick weishampel on Vimeo.

As I consider some upcoming projects I have been looking a lot at dance videos. It is very rare for me to watch a dance video that I deem successful. Often times I get so bored I don't even watch the whole thing. I know that sounds harsh, but it is true. I really want to examine what I think works and doesn't work so I will try to examine one each week.

On a positive note I really like these promos for Oregon Ballet Theatre. They are short so they are easy to get through and the point is simply to get your attention and interest in hopes that you will buy tickets. Therefore they are not concerned with creating a piece that holds your attention. That being said what works really well is the editing. Often dance videos try to match all the actions and keep a continuous flow of the choreography, but in reality the editing creates rhythm in filmmaking. The editing really makes these work.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


This weekend I met up with a friend (whom is not the potter) at the Trident Cafe in Boulder and I had to take some pictures of my friends tea cups. She is a potter and recently made these cups for the Trident to test and see if they last. Hopefully, they will want more! They look so much better than those plain white ones, don't you think?

Recently, I have been collaborating a lot with women on projects. Not only my documentary that I am finishing, but also writing for DIY Dancer, my dance classes at Boulder Ballet, and I may be helping a grad student at CU who is planning on shooting and editing video for her thesis project. On Sunday I had this epiphany about how I am getting into a place where I am surrounded by much more supportive people in terms of my ideas.

When I was in graduate school for film and video and as I have worked on my own films for the past ten years, I have been in these worlds where I am surrounded by men. They support each other and I often get left behind - often with the comment that my work belongs on the CW. I am not sure if they know how insulting that is, but, let's just say, I rarely heard that anyone else's pieces should be played on a television station (other than PBS). Don't get me wrong many men have been very supportive and when I was in undergraduate I was often the only woman in my classes and the men in those classes never made me feel as though I should quit.

At the same time, particularly after I left CU, I have had to fight a lot to justify using female characters or why people should be interested in my films or my voice. For instance, I have had to talk an inordinate amount about how attractive the people are in my films. Ugh, it drives me crazy. I would like to talk with people about the themes in my films and not how "hot" the characters are.

When I work with other women I can skip over all the this nonsense and talk about characters and themes. The word ballet does not warrant an automatic eye roll (of course  most of the women I have been working with lately are dancers - so there is that). I had a very small screening of my documentary many months ago and there were men present (no "film guys" though) and we had an amazing discussion about my film and they connected with all three female characters and offered amazing insight. I have no idea which woman in the film they thought was the most attractive. How refreshing.

I hope that I can get my film out to people like that, who will give it a chance. I think it means forging a new pathway perhaps beyond festivals and the like. Right now, I really need to focus on figuring out what that will be.

I hope this wasn't too much of a rambling post, but I am just working out these ideas and thoughts that are floating around in my head. For now, I plan on continuing to collaborate with the women around me and, hopefully, I will gain more confidence from their insights and the respect we have shown each other.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


We have been hanging out in Breckenridge for last couple of days. My husband is at a conference up here and we decided to tag along. I don't ski. I grew up in Colorado and I have never skied nor do I have the desire. Yep. And there are plenty of other people like me - just thought I would put that out there.

The first day we hung out at the pool for nearly three hours. We met a nice family from the UK and my daughter loved playing with the daughter who was probably about thirteen or fourteen. If only we lived in the same country I would have the perfect babysitter!

Today we started out at a great restaurant called Park and Main and then hung with some other parents that brought their kids to the conference as well. We went to a children's museum and then met up with some other friends at a mexican restaurant.

Tomorrow we will probably get a little swimming in before heading back to Boulder.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Haircut

Today my daughter gave herself a haircut. It was a very choppy mullet. I spent the rest of the day trying to hunt down a salon to get her hair, in the very least, evened out. She couldn't reach the back of her head otherwise she probably would have gotten that as well.

She really likes her new short hair. So I guess that matters the most. I will miss braiding her hair and putting it up for dance class every week. C'est la vie.


 It is snowing today, but nothing appears to be sticking to the ground so maybe we will go do something other than sit in the house all day. We are supposed to go to Breckenridge this afternoon, but I think we may hold out until tomorrow. They are supposed to get between 10 and 20 inches of snow and I have been monitoring I-70 for past couple of hours and snow seems to be sticking badly to the roads. Last time there was a lot of snow in Boulder my car did not do very well and was sliding everywhere and getting stuck. So, needless to say, I am not to keen about going up into the mountains. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

Right now I am just wasting time on the computer and am not super motivated to do much else. Yesterday, I organized the office/craft room and cleared two shelves for my daughter to keep her craft supplies. She set up her table and chair and now is in their constantly drawing. If we stay here all day hopefully I will at least paint the door to the garage. Here's hoping!

P.S. Pictures out of my back window are not as interesting as they used to be!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

An Old Chest of Drawers

I know that I have been complaining about my furniture; both the lack of and the need to paint everything. I had in my head that it would not be so all consuming, but it is and everything seems to need paint. I desperately need a desk so I can create my soon to be amazing office/craft room. Not only so I can work there, but also so my daughter can get all her crafts out of our living room.

The first item that is almost completely finished and usable is a chest of drawers. This was actually my sisters for the longest time. My mom got it from somewhere and painted it white. I always thought it was from one of those unfinished wood stores, but have come to realize it has a finish on it that I don't think my mom applied. Therefore, it must be from a garage sale or the like. My sister stopped using it when I moved out to go to college because she wanted the French Provencal furniture that was previously mine in high school. My last year of college I moved into my first unfurnished apartment and needed somewhere to put my clothes.

I painted the chest dark blue and then applied a glitter-y topcoat to it; the reason is unbeknownst to me. At that time they were just starting to come out with all these fancy finishes so I think it was just too enticing to resist. I took the chest with me to North Carolina and it stayed blue for a few years until I could no longer stand it and painted it green. I tried to strip the glitter and paint off, but I failed miserably and ended up with this odd texture that is not pleasant. Other things happened to it such as getting left out in the rain, odd pieces of wood getting glued to the drawers (don't ask), and random strokes of blue paint (I don't even know). For the past few years it has been shoved in hidden corners storing off-season clothes.

The last chest we had was from Ikea and my daughter who, bless her heart, loves to help put away clean laundry. To do this she often opens all the drawers and the Ikea chest would often fall on top of her - not fun. So I thought since I am in Colorado and have access to every tool imaginable at my Dad's workshop/parents garage I should fix that old chest up (at least it is wood and fairly sturdy, right?).

I sanded it, over what amounts to about three days, and still didn't get all the roughness out. Deciding that I am putting too much work into this old, less than desirable furniture I went ahead and painted it. Nearly all my furniture is getting painting with some grey paint I got in the mis-tinted discount pile at McGuckin's. It is from their most expensive line and I love it. It is smooth and odor free; what more could you ask for in paint?

 My plan had been to paint the drawers white, the rest grey, and then stencil numbers on the front similar to this. While perusing for stencils I found one of my favorite patterns and decided to buy that instead of numbers. Seven hours after beginning it was finished. From far away it looks really good, but from about six inches away you can see all my stenciling issues. During the seven hours I was getting frustrated because I can see every mistake, but now I am beginning to appreciate it because I mostly see it from the hallway. Plus, the seven hours is becoming a distant memory (of course it still needs knobs, Oy!). I still haven't finished sealing it, but it does have clothes in it as opposed to the giant Home Depot box that was sitting in the middle of the room. Now I just need to get the frames pictured below back on the wall. I thought I could finish them in a day, but I am currently on day three.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lovely Stairs

So, I am still not getting quite back in to the swing of things just yet. Every morning I wake up and think what do I need to do around the house? Where as I used to get up and spend an hour or two (depending on what needed to be done) working on my film, publicity for the film, this blog, or other personally fulfilling work. Not that projects around the house are not fulfilling there just is SO much of it I am feeling stifled. My documentary is just sitting in a drive screaming out, "finalize me, finalize." Soon, I hope.

Anyway, aren't these stairs awesome? I wonder what song lyrics I would paint if I had stairs to paint? These are pretty good ones; perhaps I wouldn't change anything. Hmmmmm...

(Find the above picture in this post at the wonderfully beautiful blog; fieldguided)