Spring Cleaning & Truck Fund Sale!

As I had mentioned previously, I'm again working on reorganizing, rearranging, and cleaning out my studio. An early spring cleaning to go with the early spring we're having 'round these parts.

Then this weekend, the transmission in my truck tried to jump ship entirely. So, 120 miles and a tow dolly later, it's in the shop until scrape together enough to have it repaired.

Both of those motives have resulted in a massive clearance sale of a ton of work from my student days! Coffee, Egg and CigarettesI've listed quite a few pieces on my Etsy storefront, and will keep doing so as fast as I can dig them out and get them photographed. Your chance to own a Carly Bodnar original at a steal!

Some of my favorites...

I'm also offering bulk discounts and reduced total shipping for purchases of more than one sale painting.

Plus, if you haven't been to my storefront in a while, be sure to check out the paintings and drawings that have resulted from my collaboration with New York City writer Casey Plett!

Shipping Container Pipe Dream

Raw and gravity-defying
I've really been digging shipping container construction lately. I like the aesthetic, industrial and sort of a la Brooklyn / Williamsburg artist warehouse lofts when it was still all rough, before the developers got ahold of it.

Actually made of shipping pallets and trailer homes, respectively.
I really like the aesthetic of the buildings by Infiniski, a company operating out of Spain and Chile. Their whole focus is on the re-use of materials... containers, pallets, etc. I love the way they maintain the aesthetic influence of the original material. Probably my favorite is their "Forest House" on their site (which is all flash, so I can't pull the image). Go look at it!

I also like Lot-Ek's CHK (Container Home Kit). Scalable and flexible, with lofts and catwalks to boot.

Lot-Ek's Puma Building. The front is very similar to their CHK design.

And I really love what Canadian Designer Kieth Dewey has done with his Zigloo home. He really maintained the industrial elements, even using chain link in the interior and salvaging stairs from another industrial building. Plus, he has an extensive photo gallery of various phases of building.
The Zigloo's front steps

Despite the quantity of imagery available, there seems to be very little in the way of how-to information. Shed and Shelter has a pretty good list of companies who actually do things related to shipping container (or ISBU: Intermodal Steel Building Units) construction, rather than individuals or small groups who have done one-time projects or experiments. I just found out Google Sketchup has a whole section on container housing. I'll probably be browsing that a lot...

But of course, lack of information hasn't kept me from designing my own dream studio made out of containers. Nowhere to put it yet, but hush, reality. Dream a little dream with me...

Spring Has Sprung

Ok, so I didn't get new Etsy listings up, as I had promised. It was so gorgeous today that we ended up planting the garden and getting ever-so-slightly sunburnt instead.

A. has had the last few days off work, and he's been putting in the heavy labor of getting all the new dirt in and fertilized, so it was all ready for me to plan things out and put all the seeds in. We're hopeful that this year will go better than last. It couldn't go much worse; last year we got a total of maybe 5 tomatoes, 2 tiny ears of corn and 2 tiny spaghetti squashes, none of which matured enough to eat, and a small batch of deformed carrots. We did get a decent crop of Holy Mole peppers, which I harvested and then left briefly unatended on the front step, and by the time I got back Phaedra had chewed up each one. We blamed the dirt that was in the beds when we got the house, replete with bits of plastic, huge bent and rusted nails, chunks of glass, and all sorts of other treasures.

This year we've reworked our attack, with 6 sacks of organic compost, some organic fertilizer, and now that the roses have all been taken out, A. has given in to using the front bed for all of our full-sun crops. The front is going to have tomatoes, peppers, a smattering of herbs (fingers crossed for my Thai basil which I couldn't even coax into sprouting last year), spaghetti squash and zucchinis, a dense stand of corn, all intermingled with onions because they're supposed to keep away pests. We also moved the pathetic Rhodedendron bush so that it might have a chance at thriving and not being all lop-sided, and I planted climbing sweet peas (decorative flowers, not an edible crop, as I had to explain to A.) along the front fenceline since we're not going to get around to replacing the chain link with a real fence this year. The back is an extensive salad garden. Most of our salad greens fared okay last year, but this year we've actually given thought to full sun versus part shade. Oregon sweet pod peas, arugula, leeks, kale, butter and romaine lettuce, and lots of spinach.

Additionally, it looks like everything in the rock garden (save for one decorative grass that's on a sad state) along the front of the porch has survived the frost and snow of the freakish winter. A few of the sedums are just going nuts, and the remaining tulips (that Phaedra didn't dig up and eat last year) have poked up through the lava rock and are getting ready to bloom. I threw some poppy seeds around for good measure.

Things are happy at our little home.

Crafty Wonderland, Here I Come...

I've been gearing up all week for my first real foray into the world of the Craft Fair. I've had this week off from my "day" job, which was very nice, and I did my best to not stress out too much. As far as prepping for the actual show/sale, I succeeded, but other shit happened anyway. Like having my week book-ending by my car being in the shop. I had to get it towed in on Monday because the driver side axle gave out (it actually failed while making the first turn on the way to the shop), and then had the privilege of taking it back in on Friday when the passenger side axle started to go. But they gave me a cushy loaner, which really is nicer and newer than my own car, so I can't complain too much.

But back to Crafty Wonderland: I'm fairly well prepared. Better prepared than I was for my Seven Virtues show. It's a strange feeling, being prepared... I printed a bunch of brand new cards which will be debuting tomorrow, including my full Concentric line and a mother's day-inspired card. I also had to put together a little table set up. It's pretty cute for a first go at it. I'm excited.

So, you should drop by and say "Hi," unless you're physically out of town, hospitalized, or one of the half-dozen people who still have a job. If you can't make it, I'll list all my new cards on my Etsy Sunday evening/Monday morning. But the April Crafty Wonderland sounds like it's going to be full of awesomeness. In addition to the vendors, it's also Crafty Wonderland's 3rd birthday, and Faythe Levine of [book-turned-film] Handmade Nation is going to be there 12-2pm to talk about the film's Portland premiere. PLUS, there's giveaway stuff and donuts for the first people there. (If I don't eat them all before the doors open.)

So be there!!!

What: Crafty Wonderland's 3rd Birthday

Where: The Doug Fir Lounge @ 830 East Burnside, PDX (if you've never been before, it's around the side and downstairs, look for the sandwich board)

When: Sunday, April 5th, 11am to 4pm

How Much: 44 vendors! Free admission!

Then, you'll be able to find me at a new art walk/craft sale/street fest starting up in Vancouver, WA, called "Craft In The Village." It's being organized by Chris Stevens, who has years of experience as a vendor at these sorts of events, and is now growing his own from the grassroots level. The first one is on Friday, May 1st, 4-8 pm, and they're slated to run through September. More info as it approaches.