Wednesday, December 09, 2009

This is what love looks like...

Cici cat
Originally uploaded by brightnewthings
... If love is a thing that scratches at the bed room door until you let her in, then digs under the blankets till she nestles at your side and proceeds to try to lick at your armpit all night long. Or if love was the thing that warms its self in your kitchen window herb garden, and uproots the basil seedlings out of boredom. Or if love is the thing that runs all over the house at the sound of your voice, filling the air with taptaptaptap sounds as her bare little feet hit the wood floor. Which love is.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Carp pool

Carp pool
Originally uploaded by brightnewthings
I took this at the San Diego Zoo, right as the light was almost gone. I wish the bubbles were snowflakes, but we can't have everything, you know.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I would like to direct your attention today to my friend LemonJitters who has kindly featured me in her tidy tuesday post! She is expounding on the delights of vintage glass as a way of organizing your liquids. I realize, upon rereading that sentence back, that I sound like an alien robot. So let me clarify: She is expounding on vintage glass as a way of organizing your liquids, Earth human. Anywho, LJ features my shop, Falcon and Finch, which, as you know, has an awful lot of vintage glass and china ware. This is because I am obsessed. Really. I stared selling vintage on Etsy almost strictly as a way to feed my obsession - my collection is constantly evolving, and I needed to make room!!

So I thought, as a sort of companion piece to LJ's post, I'd post a few pictures of some of my favorites!

Moon and Stars Sherbets in Ruby

This pattern, in this color, in this shape, is quite rare, and utterly to die for. These were the first things I sold at F&F. Pablo Neruda had a set, so you know they are classic.

I don't know who manufactured these swanky swigs - the silvery finish isn't unique to one maker, but on these old fashions it's in almost perfect condition. A rarity!

By the way, cocktail glasses are usually named after the drinks they were meant to hold. These are 'old fashion' glasses because in the hey day of cocktail inventing, they would have held an 'old fashion.' Now you learned something. I love how masculine these are, and soooo sexy. Yes, sexy.

Finally, I wanted to include a picture I took yesterday of a very small part of my collection. This shelf stands next to my project table and holds a rotating collection of bar ware, glass, and china. These objects often inspire my still life photographs or end up as props in various shoots.

Many of the pieces in this picture will end up at Falcon and Finch, except the peach colored Fire King carnival glasses in the center. Those were one of my first purchases, years ago, and they still fill my heart with a simple joy. The color is so sweet, and always reminds me of summer evenings.

Enjoy your beverages!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dear Best Western Hotels,

Conditioning shampoo is not conditioner. #amenitiesfail

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

I haven't been blogging per my usual self, I know - I'm in survival mode, with nearly all of my waking energies focused on keeping my house. However, I wanted to spend a few moments remembering and honoring veterans, especially my Grandpa Charles Waterbury. That's him, in the picture, shortly after WWII. Grandma always says he looked a little like Cary Grant.

He wasn't perfect, but as Grandma also says, "He said he would take care of me, and he did." The war left a permanent mark on him, I think, and I'll always honor him for the service he did for our country.

I also pay my respects in this blog to my stepdad, Dale, who is an Iraq War vet and a very good man.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


To Little Dead Mommy, the winner of my photo giveaway at Mrs. B's 31 Days of Halloween. Little Dead Mommy, or that Strange Little Stay at Home Mom, writes a very funny blog here, full of weird little finds and conversations with her uterus. Plus, she's pretty. So check it out!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Welcome Mrs. B's Followers!

Thank you for visiting my blog and etsy store. I'm really excited to be participating in one of Mrs. B's 31 days of Halloween giveaways - Halloween is my very favorite holiday of the year, and being a part of the 'Mrs. B' community has been so much fun.

The speed dating version of my bio: I have an MFA in photography and a Master's belt in Vietnamese Kung Fu. I live in LA and have traveled to some very interesting places, but my heart belongs to Scotland. And I'm a slave to my cats.

About my art: Like most artists, I can talk for hours about my art! Mostly I'm a photographer, and I also dabble a little in digital based photo illustrations.

The thesis for my MFA was a series of hand made, one of a kind books, based on traditional fairy tales and recontextualized to address the contemporary concerns of women. You will find a few of those in my shop under Grimmer Illustrations.

As for my photography... that's a little harder to define. I'm interested in the moment as we experience it. Making a photograph is a way for me to make something elusive - emotional or simply visual - concrete and permanent. There is a language, a kind of emotive code, at the root of the images I make, and I hope it speaks to the viewer. I'm very interested in folklore, fairy tale, and the still life paintings of the great European masters.

I have also recently opened a second shop, an outlet for my passionate love of all things old and dusty: Falcon and Finch. If you've managed to read through all of my nattering, then let me pass on a prize to you. Anyone purchasing something from either of my shops on Oct. 27 will receive %15 off (as a paypal refund, post purchase) if you enter "Mrs. B sent me" in the message to seller at checkout!

Thanks for visiting, and enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dear Guy standing in line at the New Beverly Cinema,

Wearing a vintage leather cafe racer jacket does not make less nerdy the fact that you are waiting to buy tickets for a midnight Showing of Conan the Destroyer. #Nerdcamofail

Friday, October 23, 2009

Underbelly of Nature Moment: Ambergris

Whale vomit
Originally uploaded by figgen1st
Recently, the topic of Ambergris has come up in some of the Pagans of Etsy Team chats. Commonly used as a fixative in parfume, it's value is, apparently worth more than gold. I knew this stuff came from Sperm Whales, I just assumed it was some harvested organ or oil. The truth, my friends, is even grosser than that.

Ambergris is a 'biliary concretion,' of the intestines of sperm whales. Scientists aren't 100% sure about what causes it, but they think it may be that "whale's intestine produces the substance as a means of easing the passage of hard, sharp objects that the whale might have inadvertently eaten," - like giant squid beaks!! This led us to some nicknames - "sperm whale hork," or my fave, "sperm whale hairballs." However, according to Wikipedia (I know, I know, font of all things factual and true, right? But still, it's free and it's on the internets,) the Ambergris is MOST OFTEN expressed through sperm whale fecal!! Ah, the sweet smell of Nature.

Oh, and thanks to figgen1st, from whom I stole the picture of an Ambergris 'pearl.'

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Salem Swag

If you aren't following Mrs. B, you should be. 31 days of giveaways, haunted blogs, crafts and spooooooooooky fun! One of todays giveaways is a bag of swag from SALEM, heart of America's witchy Halloween, provided by Jazz from Octoberfarm! Some of the Salem Swag:

a small spell book from Salem
a small handmade broom from Salem
candy from the oldest candy store in the country located in Salem
a small framed print of the famous lobster shack in Rockport, Ma.
pumpkin salt water taffy from Rockport
Maine maple syrup
a pumpkin shaped brownie from Simply Divine Brownies in Freeport

This list is just the tip o' the jackolantern, so to speak.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I'd like to be an astronaut.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

If it ain't broke...

Originally uploaded by brightnewthings
I have one or two preferred methods of image making - cross processing, pinhole, and a digital thing where I make it look cross processed. Ok, so three. I've admired TTV photography but have been too in love with what I was doing to be interested in trying it.

Putting all of my old camera collection on etsy recently, however, made me take a second look at TTV. My duaflex, in particular, has a particularly bright, warped, and seriously filthy viewfinder. Perfect for the kind of messes I like to make.

I'm still working the kinks out. The duaflex doesn't have a hood, so it reflects back all kinds of stuff. I may have to try again with a black cloth over my head, which is almost bordering on too much work. But I like the distortion and the grunge. I had to add some contrast and color, though, to achieve the richness I look for in my work...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Scottish Play, as performed by sock puppets

The following video combines a bunch of stuff I love - Scottish stuff, sock puppets, and witches. Sock witches, that is. The Socks are hilariously entertaining, even if their brogues are sometimes so thick as to be impenetrable. I'm a huge fan, and if you want to see more, just go to you tube and search for the scottish falsetto blah blah blah. I'm sure you know how to search. I present, for your entertainment, Part 1 of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre performing the Scottish Play (that's theatre jargon for Macbeth, just in case you were not aware.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Falcon and Finch

I've started to offer enough vintage stuff in my etsy store to begin to feel like maybe it should get it's own space. I mean, I'm a serious photographer, right? At least, some of the time I'm a serious photographer. The rest of the time, who knows? Sometimes we are the Falcon, sometimes we are the Finch.

So I've started a new shop, just for vintage - Falcon and Finch. It only has a few things, I'm still working on it. And I haven't decided if I'm going to remove all of the vintage things from Brightnewthings, or just let them expire. Suggestions? Either way, have a look, and tell me what you think!

Here's something I'm offering right now - vintage lotus bowls in blue:

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Halloween costume ideas!!!

Oh yeaaaaah! Be the coolest kid on your block. Guys in suits with Viking helmets? Sure. But the raptor costume takes the cake for best costume ever. Sign me up for one!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Beauty and the Beast, for Halloween

I don't normally listen to bands like Lordi, but this video is awesome for two reasons. One, because I love modern interpretations of fairy tale, and this is definitely a beauty and the beast story. Second, it's spooky and weird, there are guys in costumes - what about the guy who looks like he's from the future?? I mean, come on! This has Halloween goodness all over it.

Third. Who doesn't love guys in platform boots?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Witches Brew

When the weather cools and they bring out the pumpkin pie scented candles at Target, I get cravings for things like spiced cider, spiced rum, and this spiced black tea. This is an easy recipe that a friend makes, and I love, so I stoled it!

Brew up a big pot of black tea. While it's steeping, add: a few crushed cinnamon sticks. Allspice - 6 or 8 berries. Whole cloves - 6 or 8. Ginger root - I add 2 slices. 2 whole star anise. 1/4 tsp nutmeg. 4 or 5 whole peppercorns. A bit of yerba buena. A squeeze of fresh lemon. This is all to taste, by the way. Nothing is written in stone. Like how witches do. Let is steep, sweeten with honey, and enjoy. This is my go to for when people are sick. It's full of natural curatives like mint, cinnamon, honey, as well as antioxidants and spicy feel goodness.

Now listen, this tea is for all ages, but it's really the base for something I call Witches Brew. This is the good stuff, my friends, and for adults only:

Fill a jar or other lidded, glass container with a good, dark rum. Not a great rum - nothing with delicate flavors that need to be savored. But nothing too cheap either. I like Goslings Black Seal. Add a tbs of the black tea, and all the spices. Mix it up and let it sit for a few days in a cabinet. When it gets to where you want it, add honey and mix well. If you are a wuss, you can drink this with ginger ale or green ginger wine. Otherwise, it's lovely to nip straight on a cold night.

If you see me at pirate faire or ren faire, this is what is in my flask.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

31 days hath October...

I've never been the kind to have a favorite season. In general, I've liked 'em all - Summer for heat, Winter for wet, Spring for green, Fall for... well, it's Southern Cali, so heat then wet. However, it occurred to me this morning, as I pushed the toddler I nanny on a swing (if I am a nanny, does that make them a nanner?) that I really, REALLY, really like Autumn. Like, a lot. I mean, even here in the SFV I felt a change on the wind. And while that change doesn't mean much here (it's California; I can get Avocados in January. Winter doesn't mean as much when you can get Avocados all year round) it still brought a frisson of excitement. Somewhere, somewhere, it seemed to be saying, leaves are falling in gorgeous drifts from the trees. I could almost smell wood smoke and punkin pie (my parents met at a rodeo; yes, we say punkin in my family.) I suddenly started craving chai tea and ginger cookies. Autumn has arrived.

And with it, my very favorite night of the year: Halloween! Oh, the joy! Jack-o-lanterns and black cats and a fairy land of costumes. I am like a child just thinking about it! When did my fascination with dress up and costumery begin? Who knows. But I remember my mother making the most fabulous costumes for my brother and I. Pirates, witches, fairies. One year, I was Cleopatra a la Elizabeth Taylor and we died my blond hair black but it came out gray. And costumes go hand in hand with folklore and fairy tales and stories told around a candle and I tell you, I just can't wait!

My excitement at the merest thought of Halloween is, apparently, echoed by the AH-mazing Mrs. B. Her blog, Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom will be featuring give aways (one by yours truly, in fact,) recipes, crafts and guest bloggers EVERY SINGLE DAY of October. Every day! I kid you not. This has inspired me to try to do something similar. Of course, we all know I lack momentum in the blog writing dept. I'm really more of a once a week kind of girl. And I certainly don't have her resources (she is a giant in the Pagan blog community,) but I'm going to do the very best I can to force my love of Halloween down your throats every possible moment!! Aren't you excited??? (My minions will tell you that now is a good time to say yes.)

So, hold on to your pointy hats, people, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Mabon!

Yesterday was the equinox, for all you peeps in the know. Cultures around the world and way back to prehistory have been celebrating this time as a moment of balance before the days become darker and colder. For a lot of people in the northern hemisphere it's a time to celebrate the second harvest, a time to take stock of what you have reaped and collected against the hungers of winter. And for that reason, it's also a time to say thanks, to be grateful for what you have.

As much of a struggle as it's been for me this year, I believe I have a lot to be thankful for.

My parents have been supporting me, both financially and in many ways, spiritually, for several months now. I could never have held on to my home this long with out them, and I am so thankful for that.

I'm also grateful that I have love in my life. That I can give love and receive love from the wonderful people that I hold dear.

I'm going to add my cats to the list, especially Cici and the Brute, who are, sometimes, the little mewling things that keep me going every day. When I want to stay in bed and worry, Brute is my snuggle thing, and when I want to get up and face the day head on, Cici makes sure I have a smile on my face while I do it. And Smeagol, who is simply a blessing, in his own little short bus way.

I'm thankful that I have a strong healthy body capable of doing all the things I want to do.

And I'm thankful that I have a sharp mind that is still hungry for knowledge and never tires of learning.

I'm thankful for Scotland. That it exists, that I've visited it, and that I can fantasize every day of my life about living there one day.

Finally, I'm thankful for all of the friends I have met online this year - through this blog or flickr or facebook or etsy - who have become real friends of the spirit, if not of the flesh. It's amazing to have people all over the world I can share things with, learn from, and cherish. The world is, really, such a small, beautiful place.

Take a little time today to think about what you are thankful for, and what light you have collected against the darkness.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mariann is having a yard/art sale!

Or, well, I should say, she's participating in one.

Next Saturday, the 26th, and it's a fundraiser for a good cause - to help one of her friends raise the money for his documentary, and also to help do some sort of 'day-camp type thingie.' The important thing here is that she is selling off most of the artworks from her gorgeous installation piece What Happens. This is one of my favorite installations that involves postcards, found artifacts, and a scientific frame of mind.

Here's her original post. It's in Los Feliz, which is central to the whole world, so you have no excuse for missing it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Almost Autumn

As of yet, haven't found the money to fix the water heater, so it's still icy cold showers around here. During the 100+ summer days, a quick cool off felt wonderful, like a clandestine skinny dip in my boss's pool. I think I feel a change in the air that has got me pondering the near future, however. Here in So Cal, Fall is a season that never really appears; we usually have hot, hot, more hot, then out of nowhere in late October, miserable damp greyness that sometimes fades into two months of miserable rains, sometimes not. I think, though, this year we may have an Autumn. My room was so cold last night I actually had to sleep with a blanket. Not to mention the three cats who demanded I share. And this morning that icy cold water actually HURT.

So. What's a girl with zero cash to do? I recently tried to heat up pots of water on the stove top, but by the time one batch was done, the last was cold. I must tell you that the thought of a winter with out a bathtub of hot water makes me want to hide in bed for the next 6 months. Even after today warmed up, this morning's chill never left my bones. And in times of stress, as nearly every day for the last few weeks have been, I crave long soaks like other people crave... well, whatever it is you do to drown your sorrows.

I spoke to my Grandma Fran about it. She just returned last month from a visit to my cousin in Mongolia, where, she said, in the summer months, you have to take cold showers because that's when they work on all the plumbing. Fran said that my cousin told her to try to achieve a 'Zen one-ness with the water.' All I have to say to that is "Bullshit."

In the meantime, I'll be day dreaming about this:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dear Morbidly Obese Man in line at the Asian buffet,

If it were socially acceptable for me to smack you on the head with a rolled up newspaper, I would.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I just want to say right now

that people who don't like candy corn are unamerican. They are probably not really people either. Possibly, they are robots. Or Zombies. Candy corn is one of the sweet foundations of this nation, up there with cotton candy and candy necklaces.

You know who you are, and I am looking right at you with a big eye. That is Vietnamese Kung Fu Master terminology for some sort of big... eye. Yes.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Will work for air tickets to Scotland

Scotland is my favorite place in the whole world, and every few months I get crazy needy to be there. I spend a lot of time obsessing over the photos I took there, all heart achey. What's that you say? You would LOVE to see my trip photos? Oh, no, they are terribly bor- well, since you asked.

When I go to Scotland, I can't help taking pictures of the sky. It's so moody and dramatic..

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Free shipping in my etsy store: go see 'nelle, go see 'nelle, go see 'nelle.

Talking up my sale at my etsy store makes me feel a little like Cal Worthington. So imagine, as you read the following, that I have a chimp on my lap and a tiger on a halter behind me:

From now until September 12, buy two or more items from the sale section of my shop to get free shipping on those items. That's right, you heard me folks, FREE SHIPPING! On my already low, low prices! This applies to many prints as well as some note cards, craft supplies and vintage finds. Shop now before they are all gone!

Free Shipping Section

FYI: I used to think that the 'Go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal' part of the jingle said 'Pussycow, pussycow, pussycow.' I thought it was his tiger's name. Which is illogical, because everyone knows it's 'Spot.'

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Recent Discoveries: Bloggity Blogs

I don't know how I ended up being such a passionate blog reader, but it happened, and I'm hooked. I wanted to share a few of my recent favorites with you:

Murmers ( ) pairs short little bits of poetic writing with these almost spiritual photographs (including a lot of polaroid sx-70, which always makes me swoon.) Each entry is short and sweet and always brightens my day.

John Foster at features art and artists old and new. The whole thing is very postmodern as he has a very open view of what art really is - found photography, plastic bag sculpture, tattoo, everything goes. And that's awesome, because every post is a discovery.

Lemon Jitters at posts super fun jewelry making tutorials, which I adore, because who doesn't love to learn new things? And you may not know this about me, but jewelry design is one of my secret passions. And I'm also a fan of her tidy tuesday finds.

And finally, my boy Allan Chaykin has just started a blog at and while he's only got a couple of posts up (one features me :D) I think you may be surprised at his depth. He's a smarty pants, that Mr. Chaykin.

I hope you check out my recent discoveries. And if you liked this post, I'll try to make Recent Discoveries a frequent part of my own bloggity blog.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

This is why the current martial arts subculture really sucks right now.

If you follow my twitter, you might be aware that I competed at the Long Beach Internationals Martial Arts Competition, also known as IKC, this weekend. I came home with a first place trophy in Internal Styles (non Tai Chi) Advanced, and my little sister, Vivian (and before my mother can interject, I mean sister in the Kung Fu sense: someone who is a disciple of the same master as me) came home with second in Internal Styles Intermediate and a First in Northern Fist Intermediate. It was exciting and nerve wracking and my hands were shaking but the judges over looked that, which was kind.

And that is not what sucked.

This is what sucked: Apparently, the marketing geniuses behind a whole range of MMA products think that their lines of product are best represented at these events by busty, tiny waisted gals in midriff baring tops, tiny shorts, and a ton of makeup. Listen, don't get me wrong here! I'm all for looking smokin' hot when appropriate. I have little shorts and a makeup bag. Both almost never leave the house, but still. The point is, I ain't J. The problem I have with these booth babes is that the majority of women who do martial arts do not look like these women. What?! Shocked, I know, but it's true. In fact, the majority of the majority of ladies who perform at these tourneys are young(er than me,) impressionable girls who are just at the age to get their self esteem seriously effed up by the representations of the female 'ideal' in the media. So why can't the dojo, and by extension, the tourney floor, be a place where they can feel proud of the strength, power, and above all, uniqueness of their little kung fu, karate, kenpo, wushu or whatever driven little bods?

It was really gross to gaze into the rings at girls and women in gis and pads and silks and warm ups battling to be the best at what they do, and then turn around to the booths to find human Barbie dolls handing brochures to a gaggle of wolfishly staring men. Ick. And in all honesty, I did see some women on the floor who looked and dressed like the booth babes. These were usually hanging off of some Mixed Martial Arts fighter, two to a guy. And that's an attitude we would like to pass off to the girls we teach martial arts to, right?

My point is, if you are going to have lines called 'dojogirl,' or touted as the 'spirit of modern martial arts,' how about you have them represented by actual dojo girls, or women MMA fighters, like the skilled and lovely Jody De Simone, who looks nothing like a booth babe, and everything like a beautiful, bad assed woman? And let the girls and women who have already had to overcome a lot of misogyny and backwards thinking to become black belts and red belts and masters and disciples and martial artists have a world where they get to feel like the goddesses they are for once, no matter what size and shape their bodies come in.

And for the record, this is what women who do martial arts look like:

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Love Letters? I do. Don't you?

Don't you love handwritten letters? To send or to receive, in the age of email and text messaging, a hand writ missive is an old fashioned pleasure. Before grad school, when I had a lot more time and money to spend, I used to send letters to everyone - my parents, friends, lovers, even a few pen pals I had picked up from the bbs world (yes, I am an uber nerd, thanks for asking.) I had a huge stockpile of fancy and funny papers, envelopes, strange stickers and exotic stamps.... What happened to all that stuff? It's in a box somewhere, or maybe I used some of it to write to do lists, and the rest got tossed in various moves.... The point is, it's all gone, and I wouldn't have even missed it, if I hadn't found

Papermash is Lynne Robinson's new stationary e store, chock full of the sweetest, most lovely, bits and pieces for all of your letter writing, parcel sending, hostess gift giving needs. Some of my faves:

Mini Metallic Woodcut cards
There are a slew of these witty little wine tags:

Paris Polaroid Style Notecards

If you aren't familiar with Lynne, she writes one of my very favorite blogs,, which is her exploration of tea, interior design, and the joy of simple pleasures.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

To all the lovely ladies

Who add me on twitter and flickr and send me messages to "cum look" at their nudie pictures:

It's not you. It's me. I like man parts! I mean, I know you went to a lot of trouble to shave and get pierced and, uh, whatever. But I'm just not interested. You see, you ain't got nothin' I haven't already seen before, you know?

Besides, I have it on good authority mine are cuter than yours, anyway.

Friday, July 31, 2009

An Underbelly of Nature Moment

Moon snail
Originally uploaded by The-Milkshake
You may not know this about me, but I love the crawly, slimy, weird and wonderful bits of nature, what I like to refer to as the Underbelly. If there is a rock to turn over, I'm there. Got a week dead old possum on your street? I'm there. Poking it. With a stick.

So when I stumbled across The-Milkshake's photograph of a moon snail, I fell in love. She says she's holding it upside down so it doesn't SAG! Gasp! From Wikipedia:

The powerful foot enables this gastropod to plow under the sand in search of other mollusks. Upon finding one, it "drills" a hole into the shell with its radula, releases digestive enzymes, and sucks out the somewhat predigested contents.

Think on that while you eat your lunch!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The story of the ducks, for Polestar

Originally uploaded by bnelle
So. Nobody knows how to get down and celebrate something like the Vietnamese. For the Kienando (the Vietnamese KF that I do) Festival that we put on every year, the parents and community provide a feast of Banh Mi (Vietnamese sammies,) roast pig, noodle dishes, rice dishes, agar (Asian style Jell-O,) fuits, cakes, and my absolute favorite, roast duck. In many Asian cultures the head of the animal is served with the rest of it. I've seen this withe pig, chicken, ducks, doves... Most of the time, the head doesn't get eaten. On the birds, there's very little meat, you know? If anyone does eat them, it's gonna be the little old Vietnamese grandmas and grandpas. The kids are way too American. They won't touch anything that reminds them of where the meal actually came from.

Anyway, at the end of the festival the masters and teachers who planned the whole thing take home the leftovers. I got a huge tray of duck bits. I ate duck every day for a week. Yum! And both the heads were in there, looking at me every time I pulled some out of the fridge... I've been interested for a long time in how inherently violent the act of eating can really be. Preparation to mastication. And how we get together for feasts and dinner parties and family dinners and eat things together. How food can be an emblem of human socialization. And I'm also interested in still lifes with food and how food can be a symbol in art for other things. So these duck heads seemed like a good starting off point to start to play with all of these ideas in a series of photographic images.

So that's the story. Expect more slightly gross food photographs in the future, and bon appetit!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dream Job

I'm starting to think that there may be a fault in my logic about this whole unemployed thing. If there is one thing I learned in grad school, it's that my strength lies in unconventional solutions. Well, that and that there's no postmodern Romantic paradigm anymore. That's another story entirely, however. My point is, I've been seeing my skill set as fitting only three jobs: receptionist, photographer teacher, and, of course, photographer. In this troubled economy, the market for these jobs is CUTTHROAT. Literally. Watch out. So I'm trying to see myself from other angles, to develop an idea of what other, unconventional, career paths I should be looking into. Heres the short list:

1. Professional Killer/Assassin. This may seem like an obvious choice. I am, after all, a kung fu master. Add to that my wily feminine wiles, and I'm basically Elektra. All I need is a weapon of choice and a sexy, skin tight costume. Of course, actually killing people may be challenging - I do have a small, wizened heart in there somewhere - but I have grown more callous about it since I dispatched Bob this spring. Besides, I could be like a John Woo-esque kind of killer and really only take out bad guys. That's a public service, really.

2. Muse. I've actually been doing this one for a number of years as a volunteer/hobby kind of thing. So why shouldn't I get paid for it? What I do: Look winsomely into the distance, all backlit by the sun; have spirited and whimsical conversations about intellectual topics that stimulate ideas; throw passionate little fits which help your work to gain some of that angsty depth that is so hip right now. What I don't do: windows, or fall into bad lighting. A number of photographers and painters have already utilized my services. References provided upon request.

3. Witch. The post of a really serious, black hat wearing, cackling witch is hard to come by - there isn't as much call for them. Not like the old days, when curses and love potions were both held in much higher esteem. But trust me, I can do this. I have a stare that can make the blood run cold, enough cats to familiarize a whole coven, and a penchant for speaking in rhyme. Plus, I have a tremendous store of esoteric and occult knowledge. For instance, this is a real recipe for an invisibility spell: Boil a black cat so that the flesh falls from the bone. After the bones have cooled, place them, one at a time, in the mouth while looking in a mirror. When you have put the right one in your mouth, you will turn invisible. (Please note, this wisdom was collected centuries ago and is repeated in many sources. I never condone the harming of any animals. Except maybe for really nasty roosters. But never a cat. Catliness is next to Godliness, in my book.) Plus, my great great great great great grand something or other was burned as a witch in the Salem Witch Hunts. So I have serious street cred. Need a cave haunted? I'm your gal. Curses cursed? Potions brewed? Fortunes told? Cunningly pointed hats tried on? I'm also a blast at parties.

If you are interested in having someone fill one of these positions for you, please contact me for an interview. Resume furnished upon request. Serious inquiries only, please.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

This is what it feels like to be a kung fu master:

Bruised. Top of head, back of head, right shoulder, right scapula, spine (near the centerish of my back, and also near the small,) right breast, both elbows, both forearms, the center of left palm, both pinkies, right thigh, both knees (quite badly, actually,) right shin near the ankle, both insteps.

Friday, July 03, 2009

In the lap of luxury

My third straight month of being unable to find a full time job has got me rethinking my favorite luxuries. What's out? The expensive anti wrinkle cream I used to buy for slightly less expensive on ebay, new shoes, and travel to anywhere. And my new top five "poor girl" luxuries:

1. Sleeping in. Where have you been all my adult life?
2. Foot and hand massages from a friend.
3. Perfectly cooked over medium eggs.
4. All the free time to organize my itunes collection that I could. ever. need.
5. Laying in bed all day on sunday, watching tv. (At his house. I still don't have tv.)

That being said, I'd still really really like a job.

Anyway, if you've a mind to, leave me a comment with one little luxury you think I should indulge in.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My to do list

1. Finish my thesis for my masters belt (physical test was passed, now I have to write a ten page paper on the importance of Kienando as a system of self defence for women. Yay.) Done!
2. Finish choreographing the long staff self defence mock battle with Nhan. (More bruises: Please sir, can I have another?)
3. Find job. (Should this be number 1? Most likely.)
4. Empty kitchen so I can fog for cockroaches. Yucky. donedoneDONE!
5. Take pictures of some stuff so I can feel like I'm still a photographer.
6. Fix hot water heater.
7. Learn to drive.
8. Write letter to the city to say that even though I am paid by 1099, I DO NOT require a business license - I'm a babysitter! So get off my back.
9. Find a home for a cat. Anybody want a cat?
10. Find something to do for July 4th.... Done!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Isn't it about time for my luck to change?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Andre Woodward MFA show

Originally uploaded by bnelle
Remember when you were a kid and science was a word that meant "fun" and also possibly "dangerous," but certainly never led to "work?" And had to do more with tadpoles in jars and finding rad things in your own back yard? That's the feeling I get when I see my friend Andre's show "YOU CUT IN MY SOWING SOMETHING," up at Cal State Long Beach through June 22. 17 pieces, three galleries, chock full of Andre's beautiful, half zen master/half not so mad scientist aesthetic. Check it out.

MAY 18-29 12-5PM
CALL> 949-307-5222

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Look out world, here I come. Laughing. And carrying a naked cat.

Nelles grad_38.jpg
Originally uploaded by bnelle
I recently had the honor of walking at my MFA grdauation. Yeah, I know, I got my diploma back in January, but this was the last part of the ritual, and I'm big on ritual. So I sat in the heat of the SFV morning, listened to Mike Curb (who sounded perpetually stoned) warn me off of the dangers of illegaly downloading music, shook the hand of a faculty member I didn't recognize, and then had waffles with my family. The waffles were, of course, the high point of the morning.

So. Now would be an excellent time for the job offers to start rolling in.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

May 9

May 9
Originally uploaded by bnelle
You may think I have already lost momentum. But I tell you, it is not so.

My digital camera has been 'borrowed' for a length of time, leaving me with out the ability to be really spontaneous in my postings, but I think that my film work can be just as telling, even if it's more planned.

I took this last month, while in Arcadia. It was processed this week, and I just scanned and edited it today.

When I took this picture, I was just beginning to feel like myself again. Like I was the beautiful person I remembered being, back before I started grad school. Like the dawn over this field of Irises, I felt like I was at the beginning of something wonderful, and full of promise. This specific day was so lovely, I remember, and tinged with a kind of calm, hope laden ecstasy.

And then I came back to LA and life happened and I forgot and the things that seemed so full of promise seemed so complicated.

This image reminds me of all the gold and emerald green that is both inside of me and outside of me. It reminds me to keep these moments in my heart, or moments like it - sunlight and beauty and the sound of my love's voice. These things are the major destinations.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Also, kung fu joy

Some lovely people have posted video of the Chinese Culture Night at CSUN that the Kienando Elite Team performed at. Please enjoy - especially John's Dai Dao form at the end of number 2. My favorite form in the world - it makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

Thanks for looking:)

A few more images from Arcadia

Laundry day...

Tiny little egg. About the size of a whopper. The candy. Not the sandwich.

Filthy beasts

See more here - including more pastoral idyl stuff and some actual work:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hanna and her duck

Hanna and her duck
Originally uploaded by bnelle
As promised, pictures appear! The duck I saved, and her human, Hanna.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Unexpected Frost

last night took out 6 of the tomatoes and the cucumbers I had planted and mom's squash, plus all of the toms and some peppers I hadn't planted yet. Time will tell if anything will recover, but most look like gonners.

Good news, though. I spotted a tiny little frog with just a wee bit of a tail left in the rain bucket in the orchid house. I know, this brings joy to no one but me, yet that joy is spiritual and profound. So, whatever.

And that raps up spring for you. Back to you, Bob.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I want to attempt to tell you about an experience that I had this evening. I may do a shitty job of it. Please bear with me.

I should tell you that the last three days have been gray, dim, wet and cold. I love the rain and wet, but I will be honest - I have a saturation point: All the gray skies have left me a little glum, and bored with being locked up in the house almost constantly.

I should also tell you that we have nearly as many roosters as hens. Absurd, you say? Yes, but true. See, when you order hens through the mail, they toss in some males for warmth. The idea is, males are sort of pointless, so they can toss them in for free, and they absorb some of the inevitable percentage of chicks that will die in transport. Not ours, apparently. Our cute little male chicks held on to life with every iota of their fuzzy little bodies, and my mother fell in love, and there you have it. "Aren't they beautiful," she gushes. Yes, lovely. I guess. And aggressive, attacking us, each other, and any hens they can come in contact with. In fact (and this is one of the reasons I find roosters to be disgusting beasts) they will get so excited around a female that they will fall upon her as a group, pin her to the ground with a grip from their very cruel beaks, and gang rape her. Yes, lovely. The hens have cuts on their necks and backs and their feathers have been ripped out.

So my step-dad built a second hen house, this one for just the hens. A veritable Woman's Country, where the only thing they have to fear is that another hen will eat their eggs out from underneath them. The hen house, due to a lack of materials at the moment that Dale was throwing this thing together, is very low. So low I have to bend at the waist to gather eggs. So all the hens went in and loved their new, pro-fem diggs, except these two crazy little buggers who kept trying to fly through the chicken wire to the extent that they were bloody and cut and mom was afraid they were going to kill themselves, so back into the rooster house they went.

So, now you are up to date. Moving on. I went out this evening to feed the hens the contents of grandma's compost bowl (they get the ends of lettuce and string beans and bread, while less yummy stuff gets dumped in the compost barrel, natch.) As soon as I got the rooster house door open one of these crazy little hens flies right at me, roosts on my arm and begins to peck at the contents of the bowl. I would love to tell you that this was because the hen innately sensed my "Fowl Whisperer" spirit, or simply my kind and sweet disposition, but that would be awarding these creatures more sense than is their due. Instead, it was most likely because the roosters attack the hens at every opportunity, frequently keeping them from the food. If this little henny penny had been sent in to hiding, she most likely came to me because I came bearing food and had, as yet, never tried to rape her.

So there was this funny scared little thing, pecking at the soggy chocolate chip cookies in the bowl (don't ask) and happy as a little hen clam can be. I let her sit there for a few minutes and she clucked and made what are possibly the sweetest little noises known to chickendom. I was, of course, utterly charmed. I have a thing for all things that need protection and gentleness(Which may explain my sometimes questionable taste in men. But that's another story.) And at this moment, the sun broke through the gray clouds, bathing everything in a gold light, glittering the fruit trees and grass with diamonds, warming the air. I looked around me and saw the bunnies hop out of the blackberry patch, the air became alive with insects, the dogs lay all around, tongues lolling, enjoying the warmth on their backs. It was a moment of such utter, benign joy that I couldn't help but feel completely at peace.

Of course, that feeling had to pass. It was then I noticed this gory, horrible gaping wound on the back of the hen's head, which is why she's been too scared to come out and eat. Roosters really are nasty creatures. So I chucked henny penny under my arm and headed to the well house to find an old pet carrier for her to roost in for a few days while this thing heals. This was made harder by Velvet, black lab puppy of Doom, who was leaping and snapping at the hen in my arms, overjoyed that I had FINALLY provided her with a worthy toy. And that slavering maw was coming inches away, too!!

No shit, there I was (useless SCA reference that will be lost on every one who reads this) in the barn yard, struggling hen clutched under one arm, mice infested cat carrier in the other, kicking and flailing at this leaping black Pooka (folklore reference, may be lost on most) while Chief, alpha male of the horse herd is kicking at the metal portion of the fence to remind me that the horses rule this farm and they get fed first, lady. Boom Boom Boom. In short, it's chaos.

And I look up, and over the horse corral, really only a good softball lob away, is this gorgeous white bird. Smaller than a hawk, and way sleeker, startling white with gray areas on her wings. A kite of some sort, possibly a white tailed kite? I'm not a bird person. Thank heavens for google. It was just the most beautiful bird I have ever seen. Compact and graceful in every way. There is this moment when she is right in front of me over the corral, flying towards me, and she breaks a bit and hovers, staring in a way that seems to look right into my soul. And then she turns and is gone, into the forest at the edge of our land.

And of course, henny got put away and is calm and safe, and the horses got fed and Velvet just ate one of my socks, but I keep seeing that beautiful bird, and the golden sunlight at the end of the day and the sweet safety I was able to give a scared thing. A lot of the personal issues I've been dealing with melted away this evening. I can't help but think that there is some balance at work here. I may struggle with so much, but I am rewarded with so much too. And, in the words of my sifu, "That is a good thing to think on."

Thursday, April 09, 2009


You know what? Bob ate my strawberry!!! I am officially grumpification.

Why doesn't TV listen to me??

I just found out that pretty much EVERY show I actively watch on television and LOVE is about to get axed. That makes me sad because, 1 - I get really passionate about my stories. And, 2 - I feel like my entertainment desires are in NO WAY represented by mainstream TV. WTF?? I'm a nice girl. I work hard to make other people happy and their lives pleasant. Do I not deserve to sit down in front of Hulu and lose myself in some mindless adventure? Why yes, I think I do. TV, however, does not agree that the intelligent, action- and sci-fi loving female section of the viewing audience deserves their effing shows!! When do I get a voice in the media, for the love of God!

I only returned to watching TV this year, when I became captivated by these shows. Prior to this, the cancellation of Firefly sent me into such a period of despondency that I simply couldn't watch anything - all shows left a taste like ashes in my mouth.

If TV takes my shows away, I am no longer a fan of TV. My beloved shows are going to be replaced with more reality TV and mindless teenage drivel completely lacking in creativity and strong female voices: All of my shows are fun and exciting, but also feature strong, badassed, intelligent women who can throw down with the very best. And strangely, none of them look like the emaciated harlots of shows like Gossip Girl. Is it too much to ask that I be shown characters on television that I can ACTUALLY identify with???

TV, you are about to make yourself one hell of an enemy.

In case you haven't seen them, watch these shows: Chuck, Life, Dollhouse (people criticize Joss Whedon's newest, but I find it exciting and agonizing. So shut the hell up and watch,)Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Fringe, Bones (my all time favorite.)
I know that I've been promising pictures, but due to a series of strange and unfortunate events, I am left with a dead battery and no card reader. I am still clicking away in film, but that will have to wait till I can get stuff processed and scanned. So, sorry for the delay!

The promised rain hit two days ago, and Grandma is in code red for craziness. I don't know exactly what she is afraid of, but now I must bar and bolt the house as early as possible - Sevenish? And then go and wake her up and say "Grandma, everything is locked up." She says "Oh, ok," and goes back to sleep. All day long I deal with a constant barrage of worried questions: "Are the horses ok?" "Are the chickens ok?" "Did you check the trough?" and so on, about every 20 minutes or so. And the most annoying thing is that she thinks that we two "girls should not be up here, alone, in this weather. Oh, it's just terrible." Did I mention we have three very close neighbors? And are a 5 minute drive to town? Alone?? Really? Not to mention that fact that I come from a long line of extremely capable women...

Ok, rant over. Sorry to unload, I'm just feeling a little... grumpy.

But. The sky is a moody steel gray that accentuates the gorgeous emerald green of the hills around here. I'm hungry to hike up the hill to the Old Barn, a dilapidated structure inhabited by bats and mice, but I think Grandma might very well have a coronary if I was gone that long.

The rain has caused amazing growth in the garden. I didn't water one day because I was expecting rain, and I didn't water the next day because there WAS rain, so when I went out on the third day to find the tiny nasturtiums at 8 inches, the hollyhocks a foot high, and the tomatoes branching out wildly, I was shocked. The best part was discovering that the strawberry patch was not only full of blooms, as per usual, but had seemingly overnight become full of green berries! I even found one sweet little mostly red one. Two more days an' I'mma eat 'im! But this means I need to get the bird wire up today if we are gonna have any that ripen... Bob sees the strawberry patch as his own personal banquet.

Anyhow, it's almost time to take Grandma to the market - it's my first time driving in rain, so wish me luck!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

You should have seen the sky tonight.

We are expecting a little rain sometime tomorrow am, the news of which is sending grandma to the heights of paranoia - we had to bring the dogs in and lock up the house early tonight. Beware, the sky is falling!!

Speaking of which. Imagine the sky like a dusky bowl over you. To the East are gray, threatening, thick clouds, tinged in a narrow line near the horizon with toasty orange as the sun sets on the other side of the valley. Over head - more gray, with flashes of dark blue and fluffy white as the clouds break up dramatically. And west, the most luminous golden light as the sunset breaks through the clouds and trees to fall, like honeyed fog, on the irises and lilacs at the edge of the yard. It was like dessert.

That's what you missed.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I missed my calling.

I was obviously meant to be the patron saint of all small and ridiculous animals. Or possibly, a duck whisperer.

Yesterday Waffa, one of the girls from the house down the hill, called up to say that her sister, Hannah, wanted to come up and see my mom, "with one of her creatures." I should mention that my mom was about one semester away from her DVM before she quit school to take care of grandma. I should also mention that it is known, far and wide, that Hannah has a menagerie of beasts that she doesn't quite know how to care for. Which is why my parents have two extra dogs. But that's another story. Anyhow, I told Waffa that mom was already gone, but she could send the girl up and I would look at whatever it is. Often, it's a cat, and we all know that I know my way around a cat.

A few minutes later Hannah was standing at the door with a duckling who looked pretty close to choking himself to death. Foam mixed with duckling pellet was coming out of his nose, and he made a raw, gasping sound, which seemed like it was a good sign - better than no sound, right? Hannah was clutching it and weeping. Obviously, the first thing to do was break her death grip on the thing, so I had her put it on the counter and googled "how to save a choking duckling." All I can say is, thank god for the internet. Apparently, this happens all the time, and people litter the internet with how tos. Step 1: Observe. All ducks choke now and again. Ducklings sometimes die from it, but you shouldn't try to help them unless it looks dire. So, with baited breath, we observed. And low and behold, a gasp and a tiny squeek! He was working it loose. So I didn't even bother with steps 2 and 3. Instead, I calmed Hannah and found an eHow on how to raise ducklings that should help her in the future. If she can read. Which my grandmother insists she can't.

I know, I know, I'm your hero, but really, it was nothing.

And, I got pics of the whole thing, but am still waiting on that card reader.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Roosters - 2, Lynelle - 0.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nights in Black Velvet

I know, I made it seem like this place was all tranquil Arcady in yesterday‘s blog. But the truth is, there is a little bit of wacky at the old farmhouse. Think ‘Arcadia’ mixed with a dash of ‘Cold Comfort Farm.’

To begin with, let me state that getting chickens and roosters out of their coop is way easier than getting them back in. Roosters can be bizarrely aggressive, and your Northside all-weathers or your cowboy boots or black, low top chucks are only going to protect so much. There is a crazy as hell bantam rooster who is out to murder me and I have the bruises on my knee to prove it. However, roosters know next to nothing about human anatomy, so he was not as near to my essential organs as he believed. Muahhahah.

And then, there is Bob. Bob is special. And by special I mean he has some sort of genetic problem that causes him to look and act abnormal. Other chickens will sense this, and sometimes try to kill him. So Bob roosts alone at night, in his own private bachelor pad. Mom explained that Bob was a party animal and may need “extra coaxing” to get him back in the coop. This translates to chasing him around the garden in the dark for 45 minutes. I finally managed to whack him off the fence with my flashlight and while he was still dazed from the blow, scoop him up and stuff him back into his coop.

In bed, at last. Or I would have been, if there weren’t three good sized dogs already in it!! I fought them off and claimed a little chunk of sleeping territory, which did all right until midnight. That was when Velvet woke up feeling playful, so she nipped the back of my head and gnawed on my arm before I got up and let her out. And of course, after that, one by one, each dog decided it was time to have a wee and a sniff about the yard. It wouldn’t be so bad if they would all go together, but no, the rounds have to be made by one’s self. Otherwise, someone might miss some very important sniffing.

I gave up on sleep at that point and decided to make my way to the kitchen for a snack and hot cocoa. My rummaging about woke Grandma, who marched into the kitchen STARK NAKED to see if she could help me with anything, you know, fry me up an egg or whatnot. “Thank you, grandma, but no,” I told her, as I found I suddenly had no appetite.

So. It’s not all idylls and shepherds here. No sir. I’m willing to bet I’ll find “something nasty in the woodshed,” if I look very hard.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lynelle in Arcadia

Got to the farm in the middle of the night, two nights ago. Luggage includes one suitcase, a large camera bag, a book bag, a project bag, and yet another camera bag. Spent the first half of yesterday getting all of Mom’s instructions on how to take care of the animals, grandma, and the gardens. Spent the second half teaching Dale how to use my Canon 20d. He was a little bit disgusted to find that I had lost my user’s manual. But life goes on.
Saw the ‘rents off to Africa at 2:30 am. That, and my horrible cough, made it a rough night. Up at 6 to feed the horses (Chief first, as he bites you if he’s left waiting) then the chickens (hens out of the coop and into the henhouse yard, then the roosters, then Bob, the little half retarded rooster who is cooped by himself.) Then the dogs. Wally on the back patio, Zena and Bella on the side porch, and Velvet in the kitchen. Then off to water the garden.
Did the orchid house first, and spent a few minutes hunting for the little tree frogs that live there. I consider it good luck to see one. Then part of the veggie garden - I save the other half for tomorrow.

And now it’s 8:00 and Rene makes me try driving to town for the post office and to put gas in my moms car. The reasons why I am 32 and still don’t drive will have to wait for another blog. It’s a round trip of about three miles but I still find it harrowing.

Breakfast: fresh eggs, whole wheat toast and huckleberry jam. Yay, breakfast. Which, I have come to realize, is my favorite meal of the day. The eggs are fragrant and so flavorful, and very small, which makes them cute.

9:00, and we go into the orchard with one of Dale’s bows, and practice some archery. I don’t actually hit the target, but one of my arrows comes close. Good enough for me, and I call it a day. The quince is blooming, something I’ve never actually seen in my adult life. The grass underneath it is covered in a snow of white petals. Nothing else in the orchard is quite in bloom yet, so this is pretty magical.

After Rene takes his turn, we gather up the arrows and put the target away and I see him off, back to LA to care for my cats and help Master Lam in kung fu class. He’ll be back in a week or so to check on us.

Now I get a lesson from Grandma on how to take care of her, and the animals, and the place, some of which directly countermands Mom’s orders. I nod and smile, but I give nothing away: I know which side my bread is buttered on.

A two hour nap follows the lesson - I know, it’s hard work, country livin’ is - and now I’m up. The dogs are sleeping, Grandma is puttering (she insisted on burning the some of the trash, but I was able to make a compromise with her - no Styrofoam will be burned today, thank you very much) and I’m trying to decide what to do with myself….

Pictures will follow in a week or so - I forgot my card reader at home. I am sheepish.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chinese Culture Night

Chinese Culture Night
Originally uploaded by bnelle
The CSUN Chinese Student Association is hosting a Chinese Culture Night, featuring the Kienando Elite Performance Team (I know, we are pretty full of ourselves;) Friday, April 17. There is also music, dance, and a fashion show, among others. All celebrating the beauty and history of Chinese Culture.

It's a special night for us, because our performance will feature Master Johnny's powerful and graceful Quan Dao form - something he hasn't performed outside of our school in years. It's going to knock your very socks off.

Tickets cost 5 bucks.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Italian, the language of Lynelle

Very funny things happen when you google yourself - you find all kinds of things you were not expecting. Like this article, in Italian, from Inscena Magazine, which features one of my polaroids. I would like to tell you what it means, but my understanding of Itialian is based on my rusty understanding of French. Anywho. It's about creation and distruction and Heidegger and Emmanuel Levinas.

So, they credit me under my flikr account - brightnewthings. I'm ok with my art going out in the world and doin' stuff on it's own. I just sort of wished there was a little check involved; you know, somethin' for my troubles, and all that.
If you want to see it, here's the link.

Mille Grazie

Friday, February 27, 2009

Spartan gals.

I love ridiculous quizes and surveys that you get on social networking sites. A friend sent me this one, called "How Girly Are You?" It seemed a little weighted, so I decided to 'test the test' by answering as a Spartan warrior would.... I have a lot of time on my hands.

Each x that you put is one percent
Have fun!! Erase x's from other person when you are filling it out

[] My fingernails/toenails are almost always painted
[x] During the summer practically the only shoes i wear are flip flops <--- Do gladiator sandals count?
[] My favorite toys as a child were Barbies, Bratz, etc
[] My favorite color is purple
[x] I did Gymnastics<--- Spartans did
[x] I love skirts <---- What non Athenian Ancient Greek doesn't?
[] Hollister and/or American Eagle are one of my favorite places to shop
[] Tight jeans are the only jeans i will wear
[] I own something from Victoria's Secret
[] I did ballet as a little girl

Total: 3

[] I own a purse from Coach or Prada
[] I love to hang out at the mall with friends
[] I have more than 10 pairs of shoes
[] I love reality shows
[] My hair is almost always straightened
[] Bobby pins are my best friend
[] I wear a shower cap (editor's note: who the eff wears a SHOWER cap besides my gramma?)


[] I don't shop at Hot Topic <--- Nor do Spartans!
[] My cell phone or ipod is important to me (A cell phone is important to doctors and emergency workers. Girly men!)
[] I wear mascara alot
[x] I don't know the difference between a sheep and a goat <--- Did the Spartans? History will never know.


[] Big sunglasses are prettyfull (prettyfull????)
[] I have gotten my nails done before
[] I own over 10 purses
[] MTV is one of my favorite channels


[x] All I want to do at sleepovers is talk about boys <---- I think that this is a safe bet. Look it up if you don't believe me.
[] I love people doing my hair
[x] I give and receive hugs from all my friends <----- Manhugs. Again, look it up.
[x] I hate bugs, especially cockaroaches <---- Spartans hate everything that isn't Spartan
[x] Summer is THE BOMB! <-- Duh. Summer is good for battles, invasions, and pillaging.
[x] I go shopping a lot/kinda <----- If by which you mean invading and pillaging.


[] When I pick out shampoo and conditioner strictly based on smell
[] I don't like sports that make you sweat
[x] I squeal when i am surprised or angry <--- Does "Aaaargh!" count? Or "For Spartaaaaaa!"?)
[x] I eat fruit as a snack (is anyone but me totally confused as why fruit eating is "girly"?)


[] I dance a lot
[] I only have 5 billion hair products
[x] I love to get dressed up <----- For battle!
[x] I apply lip stuff 50 times a day <---- To my enemy's lips. With my fist.


[] I wanted a bra way before i ever needed one
[] I love music <--- Music is for women and babies, as is candy.
[x] You gotta love rainbows <--- I mean, really, who doesn't? Plus, it's a good omen for battle.
[] I'd rather not pay attention in school (Who ever wrote this quiz is getting a beating after this.)
[x] Kittens are usually adorable <----- Well, duh.


[x] I write my own poems<---- Battle hymns and war chants.
[] I'd love to visit Hawaii (again, I am confused about the girlyness of Hawaii.)
[] Valentine's day is cute
[x] I would not be caught in all black <--- It's true. Spartans would rather be nekkid and oiled up.
[] My closet/dresser is STOCK FULL of clothes
[] I like to read magazines (Wtf????)


[] I had Lisa Frank folders/posters/notebooks as a kid
[] I've listened to Celine Dion
[x] I have or still do plan ahead for my wedding <--- Where I will kidnap my bride, shave her, dress her like a man and then rape her. So much to plan!
[x] My friends and I are in a strict group <--- Boyhowdy! Look up the peculiar boy/man relationships of Spartan warriors.
[x] I like little kids<--- Little kids grow up to be big Spartans. Unless we leave them out for the wolves.
[] Soda rules
[] I am or at one point was a vegetarian
[] I love chocolate! <---- Candy is for women and Athenians!


[] Check my myspace/email everyday
[x] I have a lot of jewelry<--- mostly of the "bones of my fallen enemies made into necklaces" variety.
[] I have to shop
[x] I show my legs almost every day!<--- We've all seen 300.
[x] I have more than 3 pillows on my bed<--- Are rocks pillows? Or lithe young men?


[x] You love friends <---- Yes. Yes I do. A LOT.
[x] You dont understand most stuff (Wtf does this mean? I am a girl! I understand MOST stuff!!!)<--- But as a Spartan, I do not understand how to set the time on my vcr.
[] You love gum
[] Your lost with out a purse
[] You giggle a LOT
[x] Smiling is a part of you<----- but only when I'm killin'.

SO FAR: 26

[x] Small dogs rock<--- They are easier to kill than large dogs.
[] Ewww is used daily
[x] Your scared to go in hot topic<--- Yes, frankly.
[x] You wont let your mom shop for you <---- I was taken from my mother at a very young age and made into a warrior. We just don't have the same tastes any more.
[] You basically only like whats on the radio


[] You own at LEAST 5 things from hollister
[x] Love attention<--- Mostly from older men, though.
[] Love stuffed animals
[] Most things smart people say confuse you (Spartan antics aside, this really irritates me.)
[x] You would die with out a computer/ipod/camera/phone/Spear/Shield<-- Too true.


multiply it by 2

Apparently, your average Ancient Spartan Warrior was 62% girly. Who knew?

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Yes, really. This week only, through Sunday Feb. 28, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on any purchases made in my Etsy shop. Sorry, only good on purchases being shipped with in the U.S.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mariann Marcum has entered the building.

Photographer, installation artist and best friend, Mariann Marcum took time out of her hectic post grad schedule to talk to me about being an artist and, you know, stuff.

LM: Talk to me about what inspires you.

MM: I like to think the main compulsion of artists is in that "je ne sais pas". That being said, I try to hone in on field research for some brain-stimulation (as a component of "being inspired"). Maybe it's more like brain-poking. I don't know. Anyhow, this might look like anything from reading a novel or academic paper, to looking at other artists' work. It's good to look to established artists and see a sustained, healthy practice that they are still passionate about. As an emerging (maybe even pre-emerging? : P) artist, I need to seek good art to remind me that it's more than worthwhile, and that it might take a bit for my own work to hit a stride.

LM: Your own work is based primarily in photography, although you are handy with the installation, with paper and book arts - so many things, really. What is it about photography that makes it your main tool?

MM: I am a very science-minded individual, and I love efficiency. Whenever I used to think about the time and tedium of painting and drawing the kinds of pictures I wanted to make, I would cringe. Photography seemed to provide a comfortable solution. It was definitely a naive choice, and it must have been some slick spiritual guidance (and God chuckling at me) when I chose the photography route. After I learned about the history, theory, and dialogue of photography in art, I claimed it for totally different reasons. Now, I especially love photography for it's connective power between the "real" world and our own, hidden psychologies. Oh--and by the way--photography (the way I use it) is every bit as tedious as painting or drawing. Just in a different way.

LM: What do you find challenging about photography?

MM: That it is such a prevalent, super-saturated form!! Wow. I'd like to know how many cameras exist out there. I mean, how does one think about going out and adding more, new documents into the world? When I think about that, it's generally when I'm using a big camera and consciously making art. When I don't think about that, I'm usually just using my point-and-shoot, pushing a button. I definitely do both, and at the end of the day, I have to reconcile that.

LM: I've been really interested in 'dreams' lately - not the nocturnal kind, but the sort of half fantasy goals we set for ourselves. So tell me about your dreams. Where do you want to be in five years?

MM: I'd like to be living near enough to a bigger city so that I could make regular visits, but far enough away that I see mostly nature out any given window. (Preferably, with a good amount of friends and family near by.) I'd like to be part of a close-knit community, have my own garden, and a big, quiet studio with lots of natural light. It would be a dream to have a split work-life of half art making, half service. Maybe in hospitality... or teaching... or, ? I don't know. I use the term 'service' broadly. I just love talking to and helping people, even if in a small, mundane way.

LM: Words and text are really integral to your work. Why don't you wrap us up here by telling us your favorite word?

MM: Wow. Another "wow" for this interview. Good job there. : ) I love language. I love that there are so many words. Some words have a multitude of meanings, some words were meant to just have one. It's pretty amazing, and I love foraging through them all, and trying to absorb each one into my little brain. There's no way on earth I could choose a favorite!

To see more of Mariann Marcum's work, check her out here:

Monday, February 16, 2009

I've been podcast! Podcasted? Whatever.

However you spell it, it's true! Some CSUN students, led by Sue Hwang (a talented photographer herself) made a lovely video with an interview and coverage of my thesis show. I'm super honored that they picked me for the project, and I hope you will all have a listen. To find this little gem of video awesomeness: Go to your itunes store, podcast section, and search for CSUN Student Life. Then, look for the ART: Photography episode. I know that there is a much easier way to get this, heck, I could even link to it, I'm sure. However, I am pretty much a caveman at this sort of thing, so... you know, just do it the hard way, k?

Oh, and the point in the vid where I start giggling uncontrollably... That's the point where this squirrel started getting really aggressive with me. Really. I thought he was going to attack me! Why my only reaction is to giggle...? I have no answer for that one.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Selling out. I hope.

As you may have noticed, I have a fancy Etsy widget on my blog now. That is because, dear reader, I now have an ETSY.

Yep, there is now an outlet where you can purchase my prints, cards, books and other crafts. For a while I will also be listing some of my collection of vintage glassware, in an effort to make a smaller footprint in my life.

I do feel a bit strange about selling on Etsy - this is not the direction that I imagined my life as a serious artist going. I mean, where are the galleries and the $1000 a print prices?? I am in love, however, with the idea that I can reach a larger audience, and that my images can bring beauty, intrigue and pleasure to the lives of the masses. And making other stuff has been fun - I have some photo greeting cards made and am working on all kinds of other neat items - I forgot how much I love being crafty;) Plus, the "views" feature - a little tally that lets me know how many times an item has been viewed - gives me the ability to totally obsess over peoples tastes for art. So go, view, feed my obsession for the day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How to see me Dirty

For fans in the Detroit, Michigan area: (or those willing to go to great lengths for their erotic art) I have a piece in DIRTY SHOW X - the world famous erotic art exhibition! Yowza! The work will be up from Feb. 6 - 14 at Bert's Warehouse Theatre. What a way to spend Valentine's Day, no? The image of mine that the jurors selected is from my "Exboyfriend Series," - pinhole images exploring the point where true love becomes heart break.
Exboyfriendseries 1
Go, have a look around, buy some erotic art! More details to be found here:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Carpe Lumen Photography

Originally uploaded by bnelle
As some of my faithful readers (reader) may already know, myself and the fabulous Mariann Marcum have a little teensy photo biz going. We shoot mainly weddings and portraits. If you need some photographic work done, drop us a line. We are creative, thoughtful and professional. See the fancy flyer I made for flickr? Yes, top quality stuff.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Listen, this is what happened.

I was updating my blog account and found this old blog account, which I had only posted on once and forgotten. So, while trying to delete old blog account, I accidently deleted new account, and here I am. I'm pretty much just a really cute caveman. Sigh. So, here it is, Lynelle's new bloglife.