November 18, 2017

Year of Yoni: Week 33

Year of Yoni is a self-assigned studio practice with which I have committed to make a new yoni once a week for at least one year. A broad explanation of yoni and this project can be found here.

November 16, 2017

Plant ID

The previous owners of our house left their potted plants behind. Anyone know what these are?
This one has a mound of green leaves from which delicate stalks emerge, tipped with small pale purple and white flowers.
These are newer growth leaves. The older leaves are darker green and kinda leathery. The newer leaves aren't leathery. The leather texture might not be natural to the plant, but a symptom of severe drought.

I was hopeful that unknown plant #2 was oregano. But the leaves have absolutely no odor. When we brought it in from the front porch before our first frost, periwinkle-blue flowers started to bloom.
In other nature related news, the birds have found the feeder I put up in our little back yard. It's located next to the fence, near the neighbors old growth trees. The birds flit to the feeder from the neighbors' trees and flit back into the trees for cover. Our little plot is more of an clean slate. The space was recently fenced in and cleared of growth (if there was any) and replanted (within the last year?) with a handful of specimens. Someone obviously either had a long-term plan for what they planted or planted at random in order to make the house more attractive to sell. More plant ID to come once I get into the garden with my camera.

November 12, 2017

Not Quite

Yoni # 33 is in process, but not quite there yet. With materials still in boxes in an unpacked, unorganized studio, I can feel myself resisting work. More thoughts on that aspect of creative practice might filter into a future post or two. For now, though, I need to get my materials sorted, into new, easily accessed homes as a means to diminish my trickster brain from legitimizing my resistance to getting started. I need to unpack my magnifier light and figure out where to set it up, thus establishing my new sewing spot. And I need to decide where and how to photograph the completed pieces now that I no longer have the convenient bathtub light box. All of which is to say Year of Yoni is nearly re-started, but not quite yet.

November 8, 2017

Ruts & Stuckdom

Why is it, when we most need nutritious, healthful meals to fuel our increased activity and mental overload, that we cut corners in the kitchen? Maybe you don't fall into this rut. If you don't, please, what's your secret? When I hit overload, the last thing I want to do or have the wherewithal to do is whip up the kind of fresh, delicious meals I crave. Quickness and ease are what I need, and when it comes to food prep, I degenerate to variations on carbs and cheese. Cheese sandwich. Pasta. Going out for pizza (sorry, flatbread.) While filling and tasty, it's not the fuel I really want and need.

I intellectually understand that making a salad takes less time than boiling up a pot of pasta, and yet I reach for the pasta. One pot, one ingredient, easy-peasy. Or so my ingrained habits would have me believe. I've even found myself complaining to my friend, a chef no less, that there's a lack of variety in produce available in the city. That there's only so much I can do with carrots and bell peppers. Now how's that for mental gymnastics? I manage to blame my loss of creativity and lack of inventiveness in the food department on the lack of produce at my disposal. A lack of variety which simply isn't true in a city the size of Philadelphia.
I find it interesting that a lack of variety in food feels disheartening and physically tiring while continual variations on one shape and subject are endlessly stimulating in the studio. Only yesterday I re-opened one of the library books that inspired the launch of Year of Yoni, a book I stumbled upon serendipitously while aimlessly wandering the stacks, and am fired up with more potential ideas for new yoni pieces than I can hold all at once in my pea brain. Thank goodness for sketchbooks. I scribbled down images and phrases and symbols and goddesses and page numbers in a frenzy last night. All of which may come to naught, but currently feels rich and juicy and exciting.
And yet, rather than unearth the wool and floss to get to it, I spent my free hours in the kitchen prepping vegetables. Because once they're prepped, reaching for them at meal time is like reaching for the pasta, easy-peasy. And, really, that's all I'm looking for in meal prep. Ease. Fresh, unprocessed ingredients and uncomplicated ease in creating a variety of meals from said ingredients. If you have any tired and true simple vegetarian recipes to share, bring 'em on. Those green beans are destined for this marinade - delicious on their own; atop a salad; or tossed with rice, quinoa, buckwheat soba noodles, or rice noodles.

October 25, 2017


We're in internet limbo as we shuttle from the apartment to the new house. Let's make a date to get caught up when the dust settles. As a good friend of mine would say, see you soon, Raccoon.

October 21, 2017

Year of Yoni: Week 32

Year of Yoni is a self-assigned studio practice with which I have committed to make a new yoni once a week for at least one year. A broad explanation of yoni and this project can be found here.

October 18, 2017

Little Chestnuts

  1. This past week it finally began feeling like autumn in Philadelphia. Ninety degree days replaced by 40 degree nights; damp, grey, and chilling or crystalline sunshine with crisp air. The feel of fall and my time being siphoned to moving house together account for the nature bits cropping up in recent yonis.
  2. The internet is helpful until it's not. How's that for profound? Trying to identify the husks used in Yoni # 31 was frustrating. The same photos, with the same URLs, were returned by searches for American chestnut, horse chestnut, and buckeye. So which is it? I'm still not certain if horse chestnuts and buckeyes are the same thing or different species altogether. Anyone know? The internet says both, that horse chestnut and buckeye are the same tree by different names and that they are two unique trees. Sadly, I am certain the husks I found are not from the rare American chestnut. I was really excited for them to be. The scientific name for the American chestnut is Castanea dentata. For those of you not intimate with the inner workings of my brain, it immediately goes to vagina dentata. You know my hunt for American chestnut husks is now official.
  3. Since I've taken us to the precipice of the slippery slope of irreverence with vagina dentata, I may as well share my pet names for the Year of Yoni project. First of all, given their smallish size and wool base, I imagine them as merit badges. Or badges of honor. I thought of each one as a vag badge - until I looked up "vag badge" on the internet. Ick. I hereby co-opt the term vag badge to mean recognition, respect, and reverence for the feminine creative power; body positivity; and a cheeky f*ck you to the repressiveness of our insidious patriarchal culture.
  4.  My other pet name for Year of Yoni is Bony Joanie Maroni and the Sacred Yoni. I could be mistaken, but the way I remember it is my mother made up this silly name for her sister Joan. Well, the Bony Joanie Maroni part of the name. In some ways Joan was the quintessential Victorian spinster aunt. In other ways she was quite adventuresome and feisty. I've adopted the pet title for my Magic of Myth course assignment this month to create my own myth. I'm not sure what the plot will be, but the title is just too damn fun to remain in the dark.