Tuesday, April 17, 2012


here's the happy couple on their wedding day!!!!  so exciting :)  more to come from them for sure!  just a sneak peak of wedding goodness.  i've been pretty busy lately, which is a blessing since those student loans loom over me like that annoying guy who frequently shows up, sucks up your precious time, wears out his welcome and leaves you feeling drained and wanting your mommy when he finally leaves.  so, horray for being busy (work wise)!

lots of other things are happening in the near future...not so work related...

*john (my brother...in-law...although he's much more like an actual brother than an in-law) is turning 30 in less than a week and we're having a party for him on saturday!
*my cousin josh b. (i call him joshie) is getting married next weekend!
*we're having an art opening at work next saturday!
*my brother is graduating next sunday!
*my brother is going to ireland very soon after graduation (his sister is not the least bit jealous of his international travels, nor does she want to squeeze herself into his suitcase or carry-on for that matter, take a bazillion pictures of a land far away...etc...etc...etc...)
*mother's day is going to be here before i know it and i still haven't pin-pointed the perfect gift
*and lots more things in lots more areas...like hanging out with my niece and nephews, enjoying paleo dinners with jacques, exercising (yoga tomorrow to de-stress a bit!) crafting, etc...

thanks for reading...it's time for me to hit the hay (or spring-ed mattress).

Monday, March 19, 2012

apologies and opportunities

hello!  it has been a while, and for this i must apologize.  it is extremely difficult for me to justify sitting at my computer.  i know this may sound strange to some, but i struggle with boundaries concerning the proverbial world.  i don't want to get sucked in, therefore i neglect it...and in turn you.

my absence does not mean i am not being creative and productive, it just means i am out doing other fun things...like taking walks with my niece and nephew, or jacques.  making delicious paleo meals (another post for another day).  crocheting baby blankets (you parents can sure keep a gal busy!).  making time to meet a friend for coffee (americanos are my drink of choice).  doing the household laundry, dishes, and cleaning/organizing (i must earn my keep, you know).  working full time at the frame shop.  well the last two some may not define as "fun," but i don't mind working and cleaning.  in fact i sometimes even enjoy it!  needless to say, there are a plethera of things that occupy my time that are very worth-while.  and i will try to convince myself more often to plug into this realm and share a few things with you.  i always have a few blog ideas to post on, so that is not the problem, just the fact that i need to make a commitment to visit my cute sewing chair and my vintage desk where my laptop is located more frequently.

and now for some creative sharing!  this friday i will be shooting my first wedding (solo, unless jacques wants to snap a few).  Amy is a long-time friend (and by long-time i mean since birth) who asked me a few months ago to shoot her wedding.  No hesitation.  Her and Adam are very laid back and i am only nervous about the lighting.  i will be shooting with some new equipment (a bracket flash & diffuser) as their wedding will be in the evening and dimly lit.  romantic, but not as easy to get good, clear images as you would with natural day-light.  so, onto the next adventure i go!  this photo of them was part of their engagement shoot we did at the botanical gardens, where they will be getting married...in four days...i hope i'm ready!  i would still like to get a back-up battery pack as well as another memory card (which i mostly likely won't need seeing as i didn't quite fill the ones i had in two weeks in europe, but still, i like to be prepared!  haha.

now let me explain a few things.  this is not my first opportunity to photograph a wedding, it is just the first time i have said, "yes!"  do i want to be a "wedding photographer?"  no, not really.  will i shoot more weddings in the future?  yes (especially if it will help pay off my student loans and i feel comfortable with the situation).  will i photograph your cute family or baby or senior or event other than a wedding?  of course!  i really enjoy being a photographer and capturing beautiful moments in life, big and small alike :)

so cheers to weddings, new equipment, moments desiring tangible documentation, and life!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

let the new year begin!

hello to my dear readers!  it has been a long time since we've met.  i hope you won't hold it against me.

my favorite months zoomed by...september, october...and then november and december.  i actually had/have lots to post, just needed to get on this small box, plugged into the wall and share with you.  i will try much more this year.

speaking of more, i have a lovely list started regarding my goals for 2012.  i don't really like new years resolutions and such, but i was definitely overdue for some life assessing and goal setting.

here goes:
*pray more
*read more
*craft more
*click the shutter more
*write more
*listen more
*exercise more
*save more
*organize more
*love more
*memorize more
*bake more

*spend less
*eat less (junk)
*waste less
*procrastinate less

i kind of like my list.

and i couldn't leave my first post of 2012 without a photo.  here is the most amazing family photo ever.  :)  hope you like it and thanks for reading.

michelle :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

august-september happenings

hello again.  it's me, michelle.  the last month has been pretty busy.  i've received lots of encouraging feedback from the fem-in-us show.  i attended a show at the garrett museum of art this friday (figured. out) and a gal i went to school with said she heard some good things from a write-up.  the show is coming down this week, and this was the first i had heard of it, therefore i searched.  below is the complete article from the fort wayne reader.

Feminine wiles
The Fem-In-Us show at Artlink
Fort Wayne Reader

For nearly a decade, Motherlode Group, a curatorial collective based in Fort Wayne, has been producing some of the most exciting regional survey exhibitions, based around a sometimes ambiguously gendered template. Originally constructed to promote the work of women in the local arts scene, Motherlode has expanded its view to one of a more open-ended, inclusive aesthetic that deals with the artists reaction to, exploration of, or obsession with some aspect of femininity. This art is produced by any gender and the general feeling to their exhibitions has some aspect of humor with the addition of phrases like "You don't need an ovary to participate when X and Y co-habitate.”

In the most recent exploration of femininity through art, Motherlode Group brings us "Fem-In-Us", an abbreviated form of "Feminine in all of us", which takes the form of a large invitational group exhibition containing some of Fort Wayne's old guard, emerging, and new-comer artists. This exciting, cross-disciplinary, inquisitive body of art is a wonderful exhibition of how third wave feminism intersects with art theory to create a product greater than the sum of its parts. "Fem-In-Us" gently reminds the viewer of issues facing women, and educates them about the ever-changing identity of the feminine, while making all of this accessible and humorous.

"Fem-In-Us" includes beautiful pieces of art from artists like Daniel Dienelt, some of which aren't necessarily reminiscent of his signature style; a portrait of a vestal woman by Katie M. Moore; and humorous, almost cartoonish images by Justin Henry Miller. While "Fem-In-Us" is full of other excellent artists like Suzanne Galazka, John Gruse, Justin Johnson, Amanda Joseph, Mary Klopfer, and Dominick Manco, there were a few artists whose work was able to make a strong presence both visually and conceptually within the broad context of the exhibition. Artists like Sommer Starks, Jeremy McFarren and Erin Patton, Amy Reff, Michelle Diller offer works which reach deep into art history and visually hold their own in this exceptionally strong exhibition.

Sommer Starks was given another rare chance to let her installation work shine with three pieces, each distinct, but carrying Starks' signature brand of unnervingly combining material and concept to produce a somewhat creeping feeling which stays with the viewer after they explore the pieces. "The Mother Load" greets the viewer as they enter the gallery, in the form of multiple mixed mixed cerebral structures hanging from the ceiling, inhabiting some sort of space in between birth, life, and death. "Molter No. 3-10" an installation of multiple smaller pieces, mixes high minimalistic gridded sculptural forms with post-minimal process based organic structures in the form of webs of human hair, lint balls, and scraps of string. "Hair Story" a combination of both human and synthetic hair, is a wonderful installation that is visually read in a similar manner to a written text, likely the title's reference, or another visual language like sheet music. These "verbal" and "linguistic" chunks of weave reference a distinctly feminine narrative, but the abstracted nature allows the viewer to question more than answer the piece.

Michelle Diller's three photographic pieces, "The Heel Pop," "The Educated Stance," and "The Leisurely Stroll" are all headless feminine forms focusing on the posture and clothing of these unidentified women. While each image produces a somewhat stereotypical female concept through the wearing of dresses and in-general “girlie” clothing, and proper and demure physicality, they also represent more modern ideas of a woman's role. The blatant but quiet inclusion of the female figures being very conscious of their body and ability to flirt, the importance of education, and lack of domestic constraints all represent a contemporary identity. Diller's powerful restraint allows her work to invite the viewer in and then imprint them.

Amy Reff's "Skanky Hankys" entitled "Floozy," "Bitch," and "Skank" are exactly what they sound like. These word-based embroidered art pieces are formally incredibly beautiful, including the appropriated handkerchief patterns with the directly placed words and all of the baggage they represent for woman-kind. This re-appropriation of words in combination with appropriation of physical objects is incredibly clever, and adds an almost Duchampian "assisted ready made" aspect to the work.

Finally, Jeremy McFarren and Erin Patton's installation "Glimpse," a composition of seven sewing circle frames which at first seem somewhat common. Upon further inspection, this husband and wife artist collaboration brings pieces that become interesting abstractions both two and three dimensional. The lacy fabric stretched across the frames partially covers abstracted drawings which lay on the other side of the frame, creating a hollow space with graphic picture planes on either side. The viewer is then challenged to see the art inside the objects, interacting with the pieces as conduits to see the art. The total piece is read as an object which both obscures and draws out the total image, itself a producer of third piece within the artwork, being the relationship of the viewer to the sculptural object.

"Fem-In-Us" effortlessly creates one of the most interesting and conceptually diverse exhibitions of 2011, finding ways to bring about both feminine and universal ideas to the viewer. This stimulating experience continues throughout the whole exhibition and shows just how strong our arts community can be.

*Special Note:This will be Artlink's final exhibition in the Hall Community Center after nearly two decades in this space. In October, Artlink will be moved to the Auer Center for Arts and Culture.
in addition to the show, i took a quick trip to chi-town with jacques last month.  we visited the museum of science and industry...were able to see body worlds...which was amazing! as well as suited for space, which was pretty sweet as well.  the planetarium, the sears (now willis) tower and giordano's pizza completed our trip.
later, ohio welcomed us.  we visited my favorite farm.  mostly it's my favorite because it belongs to my aunt and uncle and i get to see them, my cousins and my favorite friend amanda.  and eat well (3 squares plus delicious snacks) all the while.  lots of fun.
jacques turned 25 this month...so i welcomed the old man into the 25 and over group with a birthday shin-dig complete with both of our families.  he doesn't like people to make a big deal over him...so he wasn't pleased i was throwing him a party, but he showed up and enjoyed himself nonetheless :)
let me just tell you that i love september.  it's one of my favorite months of the year: autumn officially begins, the air turns crisp, i can wear scarves again (without people making fun of me so much), wearing sweatshirts and sitting around bonfires becomes a frequent weekend occurrence.  and i have eight or so best friends/loved ones who have birthdays.  seriously...jacques, amanda, cheryl, kate, andrea, grandma barnes, my sister jacque, cris...it's birthday mayhem trying to find specific gifts for all of them, while not exceeding a small budget.  but it's lots of fun.

so, anyway, september is almost gone, and i'm back to blogging.  things to look forward to...a post on the books i'm reading/have read lately, some photos of baby asa, maybe a few chicago pictures...who knows!

thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ths friday

night is the opening for the fem-in-us show at artlink here in fort wayne from 6-9pm.  here are what my final images look like.  i warmed them up a bit and did a tad more tweaking.  they are printed on a lovely archival double-weight matte paper (my favorite) and are framed in a simple black frame up to the edge.  go and see them in person.  i forgot to say please.  

and happy perusing.  don't worry...i will be posting about something different soon.  promise!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


these three images are what i have come up with for the fem-in-us show.  i still have a bit of tweaking to do on them, but am pretty pleased thus far.  my idea changed a few times, but when i went to shoot this time, it was clear that i would leave these as straight photographs and not collage onto them.  i will print and frame them separately, but also like them as a single piece.  i still do not have exact titles for them, but they will most likely be one word descriptors.  i hope you like them :)

here's to a great week!
cheers :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

here i am

again.  hooray, right?  i'm trying very hard to keep up my end of this thing.

today has been a good day.  let's backtrack a bit.  yesterday was a good day.  after work i made a target run with my mama (we frequently enjoy "target-runs" together...as well as the fresh market!) and afterwards we went to joann's.  lately i've had the urge to sew and as i walked past the sewing section, a few books caught my eye.  The Best of sew simple magazine jumped into my arms and never left them until i turned every page and soaked up every beautiful project.  needless to say, home it came with me...for me to drool over some more.  now onto today.  after church and lunch, i decided to be creative and productive, although a nap would have been heaven!  down to the basement i went, on a mission to un-earth my sewing machine.  a couple of years ago (yes, i said years) john, my brother-in-law, gifted me his grandmother's old kenmore sewing machine, manual, table, thimble and all.  my mother's machine had always been my go-to-machine until recently, when it decided to take a break...who knows how long it will be on vacation for.  thus the mission to get out my very own, obviously sears-bought machine and try it out.  to my joy, the little old lady works like a charm :)  now that she's out and warmed up, she just needs me to get a few supplies.  i believe some lovely little pot holders will be our first project together.

did i mention i am going to have a booth in the markle festival this year?  my friend holly is in charge of the creative side of things there this year and the booth is free!  so i will be there, august 20, trying to sell cute old ladies and thrifty young ones my artwork as well as some hand-made crafts.  and i thought why not pot holders???  haha.  there is still a lot i need to do to get ready for that, but am very excited!  i needed a little boost to get some new things going!

speaking of markets and such, i bought these adorable little colored pencils made from twigs at a farmer's market in MI a few weeks ago.  thought i would share them with you.  five dollars might have been a little steep for them, but i splurged anyway.  one of those "had to have" things.
so here's to creativity and a productive week ahead!

michelle :)