December 30, 2008

Remembering fall.

Amy's farm

Photo sessions with Baby the deer.

Playing dress up in a sinewy crate.

Posing for Amy's camera.

Feeling beautiful.

Examining a table of turkey feet laid out to dry.
Editing these photos took me back to these magical moments in time.
Missing the photographic goddesses who are traipsing around Scotland meeting trapeze girls and wishing I was along for the adventure. 
Trying to see the beauty in a particularly crappy winter.
The winter blues., originally uploaded by kaliji.

Perhaps if I had long underwear I would be more apt to explore my surroundings, traveling coffee mug in hand to warm the throat. When I have all day to play the winter blues can't catch up to me.

December 29, 2008

Playing with Potatoes.

Mama Marshamallow made fried potatoes and bacon coupled with fried eggs for brunch. The potatoes were so cute and wrinkly while they were lying out to dry that I borrowed a few and took pictures of them. I also made a few textures of my own: scratched wood and swirls of plaster. I am going to be on the look out now for intriguing textures and patterns. Perhaps you will too :) 

vintage potato., originally uploaded by kaliji.
texture by Andrea Rusky

hot potato., originally uploaded by kaliji.
texture by moi: the ceiling of my boudoir

abstract potato., originally uploaded by kaliji.
texture by moi

creepy potato., originally uploaded by kaliji.
texture by Andrea Rusky

What is TTV anyway?

If you're a flickr afficionado you've no doubt noticed an onslaught of artsy photos with intriguing borders cropping up all over the place. In case I am not the last person to figure out what TTV is all about I thought I would do a post about it. TTV is an acronym for Through The Viewfinder; a TTV shot is constructed by taking a picture with your digital camera through the viewfinder of any other camera. Sounds easy enough, however the real fancy TTV's require a digital SLR with a macro lens and a dual reflex camera. While I have access to a digital SLR, I do not own a macro lens and lack the requisite patience to build an apparatus which will allow the cameras to cohabitate. However, if that is up your alley check out Russ Morris' tutorial. Luckily, faux TTV's seem to be in vogue and they are ridiculously easy to achieve in Photoshop, here's how:

Grab some free TTV borders. Try Noise and Dust Through the Viewfinder and Quality Textures and TTVs. And remember who made it so you can credit them later.
Open up a photograph and a few of the textures you downloaded in Photoshop.
Choose one texture to begin with. Select all of it (Ctl A), Copy it (Ctl C), and Paste it (Ctl V) on your photo. It will look wonky.
In the Layers Palette click on the layer you just pasted and in the dropdown menu above it change the Layer Property from Normal to Multiply. Now it looks better.
Now Transform (Ctl T) the texture to fit your photo. Hold down the shift key as you
make it bigger or smaller to keep its proportions intact. Then press the Enter key.
Flatten the image (Layers>Flatten Image) and Crop away any excess.
Try on different TTV textures to see what works best with your image.

Before and After

This last one is an example of how the tutorial can be used with any texture.
Texture by Andrea Rusky
TTV textures by Nesster

I'm going to pretend to organize my emphemera when really scouring for my own textures to use.
Happy playing and downloading! Wouldn't these be cool to print off and use in your journal! :)

I can't wait to use this one.
xo Lara

December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays.

happy holidays, originally uploaded by kaliji.

May they be warm & snuggly!

December 24, 2008

home sweet home.

coming home., originally uploaded by kaliji.

More like saccharine but it's where I want to be, for Christmas anyway--I can't wait to go out and have an adventurous life with Agent Pineapple. It never ceases to amaze me how the spirit of the holidays can bring people together, how I can actually find myself wanting to spend time in a place that I spend so much energy trying to get away from. Christmas is very sneaky that way, causing you to appreciate what you have especially in times such as these.
Here's wishing that you too find yourself in a place of gratitude, warmth, and love .

December 22, 2008

TEXT-ure :)

texture., originally uploaded by kaliji.

This page also resulted from my "alone time." Last week I bought my first tub of gesso and needless to say it was a momentous occasion. I now feel as though I can use gesso liberally and with abandon!
I love writing in it only to obscure it during the layering and impressing process, painting on the still wet gesso and swirling it around, pressing found textures into it, scribbling, adding masking tape and pools of dirty paint water, and finally dripping gooey wax from the candles I had lit for ambiance.
Is it a work in progress or a finished journal page? I don't know. I do know that I like it just the way it is and that I'm afraid of killing it.
- -

primary colors.

primary colors., originally uploaded by kaliji.

I had a few precious hours to myself on Sunday and this was one of the resulting pages. Usually my only alone time is in the bathroom and as one who thrives on solitude, the grind of the last few months has not been conducive to creative pursuits. I delight in finding myself going back to hues inspired by the primary colors. I am always reminded of kindergarten and the freedom with which we made marks on the page. I'm still holding out for a (free) kindergarten for adults.
Fun fun fun

December 11, 2008


Since I've been AWOL from the blogosphere for awhile I thought I'd make a list of what I've been up to, mind you its not much besides ze work and school. 
 Agent Pineapple and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary November 1st
 Agent Pineapple is now employed as a barista and loves it
 We have a new friend! She's a talented photographer and is bilingual, double score!
 I am now bespectacled in the dorkiest glasses I could find
 Went to the Chicago Underground Film Festival for the second year in a row, caught three            features, and ran into an old friend on the train and dragged him along for the ride
 I've developed an unhealthy obsession with watching MeTV, very bad I know. Perry Mason,          Roseanne, Green Screen Adventures, Hart to Hart, Police Woman....
 Finished up my last Fall semester at community college, unless I stick around to take fun              classes on the cheapo before transfering the next Spring.

December 2, 2008

Space Helmets or Anti-Satellite Apparatuses?

This what Agent Pineapple and I did over Thanksgiving break. I had been wanting to make space helmets ever since I got this kitschy craft book over a year ago. I was hoping that this exercise in crafty fun will pave the way for more creative adventures as soon as I'm free from the bondage of the fall semester.
If you are finding yourself in need of a space helmet/anti-satellite apparatus then follow my directions below.

1 large balloon.
1 roll of tin foil.
masking tape.
aluminum tape.
bits and bobs.
your head.
  1. Inflate balloon until it larger than your head, tie.
  2. Wrap it with sheets of tin foil a few feet long until it is entirely covered 3-4 times over.
  3. Cut small pieces of aluminum tape and crinkle so that it will blend in seamlessly. Place on any trouble areas where the foil is popping up.
  4. Insert scissors in the bottom, pow! the balloon pops, and cut a hole large enough for your head to fit through. A lot of trial and error with this one.
  5. With your masking tape, cover the interior of your soon to be space helmet. This will strengthen it and preserve its form.
  6. Cut a hole for your eyes to peek through!
  7. Cut longer pieces of aluminum tape, crinkle, and stick around the edges of the hole you just cut. You may want to put more masking tape on the other side so no sharp edges irritate yo face.
  8. Trick out with detritus from your junk drawer and make it look spacey.
Our masks:
Agent Pineapple's mask features a small tin hat and contrasting masking tape trim.
My mask features three very important knobs which originated from tires and two antennae from recycled notebook spirals.Alien ancestor?

- -

October 1, 2008

flotsom jetsom

flotsom jetsom, originally uploaded by kaliji.

One of those pages I had given up on in frustration and decided to revamp with some found crappola, new and from the stash. Transforming pages such as these is a good exercise when attempting to launch oneself back into the creative milieu. Since you already gave up on those pages in a sense, you don't worry about the results like you would with an entirely new page. I also foundreally like the idea of using old notes from classes I've taken for background fodder and selectively letting words peer through the paint.

The kitty cats (I affectionately call them boobie faces) would like recognition for their contributions, they were "helping out" while I was taking the pictures of my journal by laying in front of the pages and playing musical chairs.


Anais/Anna Bear/Slut Muffin

- -

September 29, 2008


mandala., originally uploaded by kaliji.

"The earth is a living Mandala--a structural matrix through and from which flow a succession of changes, elemental forms, and primal urges, each surpassing the other in an infinite variety of organic structures and impulses, crowned by the supreme attribute of reflective consciousness. It's flow, though working through a relatively well-defined structure, is subject to the infinite processes of growth and transformation by virtue of the ever-changing relationships both internal and external to its basic structure." --Mandala

Contour Party On-The-Go.

contour #1., originally uploaded by kaliji.


contour #2., originally uploaded by kaliji.


contour #3., originally uploaded by kaliji.


Notepad + sharpies + a human (or representations of a human) = portable fun.
I do these at work, in class, between classes, at coffee shops with Agent Pineapple. We are each trying to complete a notepad with contours of each other; we have quite a ways to go but projects make the mundane bearable. Not to mention, the results are often hilarious.

- -

August 23, 2008

Saying Yes to September.

S E p15 T
E25 DSC_1619 B E scribbly R

Come August I become consumed with tunnel vision fixed upon yet another fall semester at community college, still wading in life possibilities. It feels much like drowning in the amorphous rainbow that is a McDonald's ball pit with nothing substantial to latch onto for the sake of self-preservation.

I noticed that once engulfed in the clamor of The First Day I become hyper-aware of the social dynamics my peers prescribe to. We are lonely souls ricocheting off one another in the search for a tribe, a cult, a gang to call our own--any connection substantial enough to transcend the collective memory of social networking sites into something more concrete. Something accompanied with nicknames concerning canned food items, spirit animals, or sexually explicit catch-phrases. Something which includes forcing nicotine in and expelling it out of our lungs in one shared self-destructive, self-aware breath. Something which has everything to do with quantity and nothing to do with quality. The more bodies you can claim as your friends the better. Resigned to this being a necessary and unavoidable aspect of my social development, I realize that I need to open up, reach out, and connect with individuals my age. It is too easy to withdraw, to burrow oneself deeper into that proverbial ball pit and spend your precious free time watching every Gilmore Girls episode you own (which would be seasons one through five--the good ones). Or maybe that's just me ;)

In September I want to focus. Focus on academics and a few goals that are within my capabilities to make tangible such as creating a space that Agent Pineapple and I want to be in as opposed to just sleep in. A space where creativity, academia, and relaxation can flower. This means consciously filling the well; it is imperative to keep the well half-full by default, to focus on the bigger picture and grasping at anything to keep it saturated with soul water.

Therefore today I have been spending my precious hours of "Lara time" organizing, musing about art, listening to the mix-CD my sister gave me, and playing dress-up: all well-filling activities in their own right. I am breathing. It has been so long that I was worried that my body forgot how.

- -

August 12, 2008

Shiny pom-pom!

shiny pom-pom, originally uploaded by kaliji.

For Self Portrait Tuesday; theme: Shine.

This little gold pom-pom pounced on me on my way to work and I just couldn't resist it. I bounced it in my hand and rubbed it between my fingers the rest of the way, mesmerized. It is a magical worry stone; I'm glad it found me :)

- -

August 11, 2008


sunflowers., originally uploaded by kaliji.

happy happy happy.

i forgot where i was going with this.

my lovely brought me sunflowers.

they make me giddy and smiley

and look perfect on my altar in

the happy mocha chai bottle

that i knew would be of use

one day

August 8, 2008

Gratuitous mirror self portraits.

gratuitous mirror self portrait, originally uploaded by kaliji.

adding to the chaos., originally uploaded by kaliji.

It's not my fault that my old neighborhood has amazing public washrooms. I just noticed how when I take pictures my pinky is in full salute, that's embarrassing. The digit becomes erect when I hold coffee cups too, and with other beverages on occasion. Fortunately the problem can be circumvented by using a straw; they should make straws for hot beverages. That doesn't solve the picture-taking problem though.

August 6, 2008

So we meet again, August!

Dismantled Neon Letter U/Uneeda Biscuit G U S T
Dear August,
Regrettably, it seems as though you're already over. Let me be clear: I'm not blaming you. It's just that every year around this time my proverbial plate is piled thicker than that of a trucker's in an Old Country Buffet. Next week I work 40 hours as opposed to the usual 25. The week after that, Wednesday the 20th, to be exact; Fall term begins. Then, add to that the flaccid condition of my work/school schedule. It's unfortunate that so much stress is associated with you, August. Regardless, there are some things I would like to accomplish/work towards in these coming weeks.
In no particular order:
1. Fix bike. Bike. Bike rides. (Put the fun between your legs!)
2. Prioritize and organize.
3. Write a "manifesto" for Walking Wednesday, Walk your Wednesday...whatever.
4. Delve back into the art journal. Draw, paint, tape found objects in there...whatever.
5. Wake up with yoga 3-5 days a week ♥
6. Work towards achieving balance.
7. Start doing whatever needs to be done now to prevent my sanity from fleeing on account of fall term.
Thank you, for trying your best, August, in the face of all this adversity. You are a stand up chap. Perhaps you could send a surplus of mild, sunny days over my way here in Chicagoland in order to make up for, well, you know inadvertently sucking.