14 posts categorized "Top 10 List"

January 19, 2014

Top 10 Things We Learned in Julie Balzer's Workshop

We had a blast with Julie Fei Fan Balzer. We learned a whole lot too.

Julie Balzer10. Opacify.
9. Let it go.
8. People who think collage is easy don't know what they're talking about.
7. Master the stencil. Don't let it master you.
6. Comparison is the thief of joy.
5. Q: Do you need to apply medium in two directions before adhering paper to paper? A: Who the hell cares? Just get it on there.
4. If you don't like wrinkles in your collage, do something about it.
3. Life is too short to clean your stencils.
2. Make what you want to make.
1. Kill the pretty.

Congratulations to Julie and all attending students for a truly magical time. Julie will be back in 2015! Same time as always ... the Saturday/Sunday after CHA. Save the date!

Jenny Doh and Julie Balzer

January 18, 2014

Top 10 List :: Week 3 of 2014

I guess since I did my last two Top 10 lists on a Sunday I'm technically a day early but that's what I feel like doing this time. It's not like I'm breaking a long-standing tradition or anything. Or any tradition really. Because after two weeks of something is it really considered a tradition? Maybe it will become one if I keep it up for 2 months. At least.

Jenny Doh10. I still haven't checked my voice mails. I've definitely decided to go all through January not listening to them.

9. Andrew's birthday was yesterday. Aside from cold hard cash, we also got him a nano because he really needed a device for his music. But we didn't get him any device that gives him connectivity to the Internet. It's a challenge for him. And he knows it too. It just sucks him in so bad. I mean we all get sucked in but with him it's at an epic level. This is also why he's not on Facebook. He agrees that it would not be a good thing for him to be on Facebook or have a handheld device with connectivity. I'm glad he has that self awareness. He's a great boy.

8. Ever since our household switched over to the Hario drip kettle/cone method for making coffee, I find that there is no coffee shop that can make a better-tasting cup than the what we make at home. I just love it. So if you ever see me go into a coffee shop, it's usually more for the ambiance and human interaction rather than the coffee because the best coffee is at home.

7. If you follow my IG feed, you'll see that I've been adding numbers to my fitness-related posts. I'm trying to keep track of how many days I actually work out every month and then overall for the entire year. I have told myself that I can have 4 days off per month if needed, which would mean that in 2014, I need to not fall below 317. Every post also has an ongoing monthly cumulative so for today, it looked like this: JAN: 18-2/31 2014: 18-2/365. I really like posting these numbers. They motivate me to stay ahead of my goal.

6. I always wonder about people who buy lots of mascara. That's cause I usually use a tube for maybe a year. I usually throw it away before an entire year passes because I feel that maybe I should. And granted, a new tube always feels more wonderful as it glides on but still, it lasts a heck of a long time. The best situation of course is to get a tube as a gift with purchase, which is usually how I get my mascara and then it's like you don't ever pay for mascara.

5. Not to sound like an anti-happy person or anything but I think happiness is over-rated. I mean, yeah I want to be happy. And I want my family to be happy. Ultimately so. But in between I actually enjoy feeling other emotions, including sadness. I like to linger in those other feelings. And if I had to choose between happiness and simply being aware of things, I'd choose the latter.

4. So now that Andrew's birthday has passed, the next birthday for my family is ... dun dun dun ... mine! I've become one of those people who now prefers to say that I'm forty-something rather than saying precisely what age I am. Haha. And I've also become one of those people who becomes not only happy but ecstatic when people guess my age as being 4, 5, 6 and sometimes 7 years younger than my age. Love it when that happens.

3. I finally bit the bullet and bought a real easel. I spent a pretty penny on it but I'm really excited because right now, as I work on large canvases, it's a hot mess the way I have to handle them. I'm so excited! I'll let you know how it goes once it arrives and I start using it.

2. Monica has started hearing from colleges that she's applied to. So far, it's 3-0. So 3 yes's and 0 no's. Yep. That's my girl. She went in for an interview with one of her top choice campuses today. Super duper exciting. If that campus says yes, it'll be where she goes I'm pretty sure. And I can't wait to get all the "(campus name) mom" sweatshirt, keychain, bumper sticker and related gear. My friend Dori and I have been texting about how whichever campus she lands at, Dori and I will visit her and pull all our assorted shenanigans to embarress her to death in front of her roommates and college friends. What fun we'll have.

1. There are more moments than ever before in my life where I feel content with where everything is at. Mostly that I am gaining days where I get more and more time to create art. I sonetimes wonder whether this time to create is really and truly my time ... whether I really am allowed to bask in it and roll around in it with no other obligation than to make art. And when I realize that yes it is, I say a prayer of thanks to the universe for letting it be mine and hope that it is heard.

January 12, 2014

Top 10 List :: Week 2 of 2014

Here are the top 10 things on my mind this second week of 2014.

Jenny doh10. My hair! I think it's officially long. It's been one full year since I started growing it out. I can't believe it. Sometimes when I see someone with a really cute short cut I get the urge to cut it all off. But then I realize that I really do like my long hair for now. So for now, it'll stay long.

9. My friend who knows about the fact that I feel guilty when I paint during daytime hours asked me this week why I don't feel guilt when I exercise during daytime hours. I thought long and hard about that. There are several reasons but one of them I discovered is because I want to stay as strong and healthy and fit for as long as possible so that I can make my art for as long as possible. Maybe eventually I'll get to making the art that I want at optimum health ... without guilt, regardless of whether it's night or day.

8. I need to get my sewing machine serviced cause it's doing some weird things. But I can't bear the thought of being without it for even an hour these days so I keep putting it off. I'm thinking about buying a second machine that is exactly the same as my current one so that I can turn in my current one to be serviced without going through the anxiety. Makes perfect sense to me.

7. I love pickles. I used to just eat Claussens thinking they were the best. But then Jay, my buddy from boxing, told me about Bubbies pickles. Oh em gee. The best pickles ever. But then my former professor from UCI keeps telling me that the best pickles are homemade and that I should really give it a try. So it's now on my 2014 to-try list. To hopefully make my own pickles.

6. What is it about Burt's Bees stuff? It's like I have these grand expectations when I make a purchase. The packaging usually lures me in. And I use it and I really want to like it but the bottom line is that everything Burt's Bees is ho hum and I go through a degree of disappointment with every single Burt's Bees purchase but pretend that I'm not disappointed because I like the packaging so much.

5. LinkedIn. I wish I had a magic shield to block all the emails they send me. Endorsements. People's new positions. Views of my profile. Gawd. And if they only knew that when they notify me to say that so and so has looked at my profile ... is the number deterrant in terms of having me look at anyone's profiles. Like who wants for anyone to know that we looked at their profiles? 

4. Just because someone asks a question doesn't mean that it needs to be answered.

3. I still haven't checked the voice mail on my landline. The light's been blinking since like October. I've been wondering what sort of messages have been recorded during that time? Are those messages are swimming together in this pond wainting to be pulled out? Are they running into each other? Are they fed up with the fact that no one's bothering to listen to them? I wonder if I can go for a whole year not listening to the voicemails that come in and allow them to all swim together for a year.

2. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love watching Chopped. But you know what show I DON'T like? Cutthroat Kitchen. To me, it's like the stupidest show ever. So predictable and so uninteresting. I really wanted to like it when it first came on. But to me, there's nothing interesting about it. Not even pretty packaging.

1. I've been having so much fun with my little etsy shop. It's the funnest thing ever. I've sold 9 things already! I know that's kind of a small number but it's my number for now. And I just think it's kind of cool that stuff I make with my hands ... not my books or other types of products but actual things I make with my hands ... my art ... interests other human beings. All nine of them!

Hope your week was great.



January 05, 2014

Top 10 Lessons from Week 1 of 2014

The first week of the new year is almost over. Here are some things I've learned/realized this week.

Jenny Doh

10. It's not easy to be an artist. There is this misnomer out there that lots of folks hold ... that the life of an artist is easy and fun. It's not. It's hard and frequently not fun.

9. It's not easy to stay true to who I am. As an artist, as a human being. There are so many ways to second guess what you make, what you say, what you put out there. "Is this who I am OR is this who people want me to be?" But I do believe that to be a great artist, I need to put out into the universe who I truly am ... even if it's not who people want me to be and even if it makes some people uncomfortable. That's hard.

8. I love poached eggs. With fresh tomatoes.

7. No matter how much I kick ass in my weight lifting classes, I'm pretty much convinced that I'll never be able to do a pull up and never really do push ups well. It's a mystery that frustrates me.

6. At every stage of parenting, there's this voice inside my head that says "THIS is when you'll end up failing as a parent." Like I thought that when I was potty training my kids because I thought I could never do it. But lo and behold, they were potty trained. Same thing for sleeping in their own beds, drinking out of normal cups, and taking showers on their own. So this week, I gave Andrew his first driving lesson. And that voice said it to me again: "THIS is when you'll end up failing. You'll never teach Andrew how to drive." And lo and behold, he started to drive pretty darn well. Go figure.

5. I've finally come to a point where I can forgive people who classify people who want to be fit as being shallow. Kind of. This is not to say that all fit people are deep. But not all fit people are shallow. And fit in and of itself isn't shallow.

4. It bothers me when people say things like "Why can't people enjoy the moment rather than taking a photo of the moment and posting it?" It reminds me of sentences from the past like "Why do you have to send an email when you can fax or telephone a person?" Times they are a changing. And what makes anyone think that taking a photo of a moment and posting it isn't a way of enjoying the moment? How we experience and how we enjoy moments have never stayed the same. They've always been changing. And they are changing as we speak. Each person chooses to the degree that they keep up with and participate in the changes.

3. I don't like being told what kind of art to make. And I really hate being asked what kind of art a person should make. It's like the most awkward thing.

2. I realized once again, the importance of reading labels on food products. Like there is this almond butter made by a company called Maranatha that boasts "all natural" on its label. I've been eating it for several months, only to read the ingredient list this week to find out that it is filled with sugar and oil along with almonds. Total bummer. So now it's back to almond butter that lists only one thing as its ingredient: almonds.

1. Nothing feels better than receiving deep, sincere praise for your art by complete straingers. It happened tonight. From an accomplished sculptor and her colleagues who came to see my paintings and my free motion stitching. It felt so good. Like I'm doing the right thing pursuing my art. Like it's causing an audience to feel something. So even though #10 is the truth of the matter, it's when #1 happens that I think to myself that I'll continue on my path for now.

Jenny Doh 3

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