May 30, 2010

Elephant Revival & Taarka

I went to a great show last weekend at the Fox, with Taarka and Elephant Revival headlining, the latter for a CD release. The former bills their genre as "indie-gypsy chamber folk," and I can see how that sort of makes sense, but basically I would say both groups are heavily bluegrass (or "newgrass") + celtic style bands like Solas. Semantics aside, I really enjoyed the show. One of the singers from the Elephant Revival has a lovely voice similar to Dido's, but she uses it in a much more organic way, with fewer voice breaks. This way you enjoy the heartiness of her voice and aren't annoyed at all. She also plays the washboard. The violinist is passionate and fluent. All the members sing and write. I bought their EP, and would recommend their CDs.


(I tried several times to upload 3 other videos, to no avail. Sorry!)

May 29, 2010


Look how similar these are, in their framing, beauty, angle.

Locket DIY

I'm leaving for Guatemala in 3 days. In preparation, I made a little locket to go on the outside of my daypack, with a picture of Ben and a picture of the kitties inside. This is how.
Traded a pendant for a brass drawerpull+locket+rhinestones at Elevation from Kyla.

Printed out some pictures, after measuring the locket and resizing the pictures in a word document. I printed several of the same pictures in case I screwed up cutting them out. I printed them on 80lb laser printer. I laminated them with simple clear packing tape, both sides, to protect the ink from wetness (glue, or otherwise)

I cut out a little mock-up, and kept trimming until I had the right shape. Then I traced around it on the pictures and cut them out. I glued them in the locket with superglue.

Then all I had to do was afix the locket to my zipper. I had some fun pipecleaners laying around to do the job.

Now I will have a little picture of my beloveds with me the whole time I'm gone!

Boosh Fashion

I think my own sense of style lies somewhere between these two gents. I feel like these are my people. In so many ways.

May 26, 2010

May 25, 2010

May 23, 2010

ATTN ARTISTS (professional and amateur!)! Tattoo Input Requested

I sent an email very similar to this to an artist friend of mine....but I think I want to hear from as many of you as possible. Don't be shy! I want to know your visual considerations/ideas. If you feel like sketching/doodling how these pieces might all work together, I'd love to see what your mind does with this info, whether you consider yourself an artist or not. Send your ideas to me at alyssum (dot) pohl (at) gmail (dot) com . Let me know if I can share your work in a future blogpost, and if you have a website you want me to link to. Vinny, my brother in law and tattooist has warned me against image overload...but that's sort of how I roll. Image overload allows me to make sure I'm not missing anything, making the best decisions artistically, etc. I guess that means it's not overload.
I don't consider myself much of a tattoo person, so this might seem like a bit of leap for me. The tattoos I have now are simply dots at the base of each of my cuticles. They're brown, so they look like perfectly centered moles. I love that they mean a lot to me, but other people hardly ever notice them. They feel like a part of me, they look like I could have been born with them.
I think the new tattoo will be wonderful (amazing, even!) if I'm able to capture the essence I'm looking for...(isn't that what every tattoo is about? ha). My brother in law, Vinny, is a tattoo artist, and is offering to do it for me before I leave Boulder. I leave just over a week from now, so time is running short! (Get your ideas to me sooooon).

Here are the definites.
1. I want mirror images of the same thing on the insides (bends) of my elbows. Placement like this:

2. They will be all white tattoos. So they will be very subtle, and look more like scars than tattoos when they're healed.
(Lee's tattoo that inspired my fascination with white tattoos many years ago)

a pretty white tattoo
a white tattoo in the area I'm thinking of
Here are the fuzzies (loose ideas).
1. I am inspired by the unperfectness of this crochet, and the designwork therein
ha, ha, cute butt too
2. Similarly, I am inspired by lace, because of its geometric patterning (kind of henna-y in a way), the fact that it's white like my tattoo will be, and use of thick and thin lines
I especially like THIS lace which is art nouveau
I love the parts on the sides that curl up.
3. I like art nouveau in general because of it's organic feel. The way lines are thick where you don't expect them to be, the way lines change direction last minute, like long hair in the tide, giving a 2D image movement.
This heavy piece has so much movement!

Gaudi's work looks like it evolved rather than having been conceived of or built.

Another reason I like art nouveau is for it's lack of perfect or literal symmetry. The symmetry uses space and heaviness rather than simple line to be balanced.
This is one of my very favorite circles because it doesn't finish. I can see using something like this as the main motif in my tattoo, and then embellishing it differently than they've done in this pendant.

Not that this image or the one below are art nouveau, but their asymmetry is why I contacted my friend, Raven Ebner, in the first place (they're her drawings)

4. I like dangly bits. like the crochet wisps in the first picture. like the pearl on the end of the circle pendant above.
like the slip used to decorate this bowl

or the long feathery things in this pic

or this (i also like the asymmetry here)
5. i like arches and pinnate forms

6. dots and circles for embellishment are nice too

Here are some final thoughts
*The forearm is more tender than the upper arm (or so it seems on me!) I am imagining going bigish and boldish, but I might be a weenie when it comes down to it. I imagine there being (mostly) empty space in the crook of my arm partially b/c of the tenderness there. But maybe not.
*I am imagining form rather than content (ie, design work, not necessarily something definite like a face or a tree or whatever).
*I want something that is beautiful from far away and intricate up close too. (intricate can be simple, doesn't have to be complicated).
*The way Gaudi's work seems to have evolved, I love tattoos that seem like they were already a part of the person, like they were created to fit that specific person on that specific part of their body (like the maori facial tattoos), rather than looking like they were stamped on the wearer like a temporary tattoo.

This is harvey keitel in the movie The Piano, as a Maori interpreter. You can't see the dots above his eyebrows, but you can see the designs on his nose. I like how subtle these tattoos are, like they're just part of him.

I do have a preliminary "rough draft" of what I am sort of considering. It's just a jumble of the pieces I have mentioned above. If you want to see that, scroll down. Alterations, embellishments, suggestions on that are appreciated. If you don't look, just use your imagination.

Disclaimer: I recognize that asking peoples' opinions on a tattoo is somewhat akin to asking people to help me name a child in its personal-ness. Clearly, I'm looking for further insight and inspiration and may or may not heed what others suggest.

Etsy Treasury

Cool! Someone included one of my pendants in their etsy treasury of orbs.

May 22, 2010

Moving to Monterey AKA The Nile

In the old days, Paramount Pictures had a map for what parts of California were good enough to shoot and pretend it was somewhere else on the globe. What a funny idea. According to that map (on the right), Monterey sits right where The Nile River starts. That's cool; I love Africa. And look! When I'm homesick for the Kentucky Mountains, looks like all I have to do is jaunt over to King's Canyon National Park. How wonderful they have all my favorite places over there in California. (o:

May 18, 2010

Night Owl, Morning Owl, Early Bird

When things are simple in my life, my natural rhythms dictate waking around 9 and going to sleep at ~midnight. I don't think that puts me squarely in the night owl or the early bird camp. I do like the term "morning owl".

May 16, 2010

Orchid Progression

My orchid had not bloomed in 3 years. I got it right after my house burned down, and it was a silent, beautiful bastion of peace for me during that time. But it had been so long, I forgot what kind of orchid it was, what color the blooms were. In January, I was really really excited to see the plant send out a shoot.

In February, the buds were getting bigger.

When I moved to Boulder mid-March, the orchid was one of the few things I took with me in my car.

The first bloom opened in April and I was excited to see the color.

Progress as more buds opened.

Enjoying the close-up reticulations of this flower.

Here it is in all it's fineness, on my window shrine, my tiny space of peace.

And then, sadly, two nights ago, the blinds fell off the wall and broke the flower stalk right off the orchid plant. Sadness! I'm hoping they will stay pretty enough in a cup of water til I leave for Guatemala.