Wednesday, September 21, 2011

name dropping

my art in his heart
Donald Calloway, Jr., a friend and very talented artist, has started using my buttons in his work. Pretty neat, huh?

if you haven't been by my booth at Eastern Market, then you have not seen how beautiful it is.
The Delicion at Eastern Market
Tuesday, September 27th is the last of Eastern Market's Tuesdays for this season. You should come by and get some delicious food.

I am still working to raise money for my Art Prize project via Kickstarter. Your pledge can make this work possible AND buy you cool goodies.

Earlier this week, I sent in $350 worth of buttons to Phat Fiber headquarters for the October box. The ideal outcome for this effort is a retail placement. Also awesome is if you and your loved ones buy the buttons through my website. The button-purchasing-dealie will be improved very soon. Your feedback as to how you would like it to work would be greatly appreciated.

so... my garden....
the green house yard
This garden is in the yard of an abandonned house in our neighborhood. The individual who owned it died something like four years ago, and no one has lived in or cared for it since then-- with the exception of a lawncare service hired by the township to mow lawns of abandonned properties.

This spring, I planted a vegetable garden. Within a matter of days, said lawncare service mowed it. A reasonable amount survived, but nowhere near as much as if, you know, it hadn't been mowed. Several weeks later we had a nasty storm that knocked down a tree. The majority of the weight of the tree was held by the power lines, and so I did not give up hope!

Monday, when I went to dig up some delicious Detroit beets, I discovered that my garden had been completely crushed. A huge limb of another tree fell, and this one brought the phone, cable, and electric lines with it. They actually seem to be tangled in the branches.

so no beets. no tomatos. no carrots. no fennel. no peppers. they are now part of an eight twelve-foot row vegetable casserole. maybe once the wires are moved I'll be able to find some survivors.


In summary:
1. I totally get to brag about my work being a part of another, more widely-know artist's work.
2  The last Eastern Market Tuesday of the season is this coming Tuesday.
3. Please back my Kickstarter project.
4. My buttons will be included in the October Phat Fiber box, if you are able to get one. They are also available for sale on my website.
5. My vegetable garden, mighty in spirit though it may be, is not strong enough to handle this second tree's weight.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

is it worth it?

Having money means having the ability to spend it. Having the ability to spend money means having the ability to acquire goods or services. Are we all together here? Within a closed system (that is, there is no more or less money), when an individual or collective has more money, that individual or collective is able to acquire more goods or services. To put it more simply and a way that is much easier to misconstrue, having more money means being able to buy more.

In the field of medicine, having more money means being able to do more research, produce more medication, and maintain and staff expensive equipment. Sports medicine is a perfect example. Because so many people are eager to see a player back in the game, most parties involved are willing to spend exorbitant amounts of money to make that happen. Kevin Everett may not be back on the football field, but he can walk.

Let’s not worry about whether prices are reasonable—money has gone into medicine to such a degree that people can *expect to* recover from severe injuries and illnesses. Many diseases that used to be as life altering as common, like polio, are considered third world. Most Americans who get influenza take some time off work, eat some soup, and move on with their lives as if nothing happened. Infant mortality is less than a third of what it was 50 years ago. As a society, we have shown with our dollars that medical technology is worth paying for.

We would not have these advancements if we didn’t have the money to put toward their development. You want lower premiums, lower copays, and more coverage—a bigger slice of every pie, as it were. The questions are who will pay for these miracles of modern medicine, and who gets to have them.

I’ll be your example, because in most respects I’m of a demographic that a lot of people like. I am a 28 year-old woman. I’m married, and we have a 10 month-old infant. I “work from home” as an artist. I don’t make a lot of money, but I love what I do. My husband has been employed in a skilled trade at the same employer for the past seven years. One of his benefits is health insurance. Like most families who are insured through an employer, we pay only a portion of our premium.

My husband and daughter are healthy enough that they only need regular check-ups. Our insurance plan covers all but $20 for these routine visits.

I have brain damage caused by a series of transient ischemic attacks and possibly a full stroke. These neurological events, as they are called, were caused by a lack of oxygen and possibly a blood clot. I had a 14mm hole in my heart (a patent foramen ovale) that we didn’t know about until significant damage had already been done. The diagnosis for the collection of symptoms I have, including a resting tremor and aphasia, is Parkinsonism.

The –ism is important; my condition is not degenerative. It is, however, chronic, and so it can’t be cured and won’t go away on its own.

Miracles of modern medicine have provided treatments that make people like me able to function almost normally. One medication is the reason I am able to function. Without it, the communication between my brain and body happens slowly enough that several minutes pass before I am able to react to things that I see or hear. I’ve been on it for several years except during my pregnancy and intermittently since February.

My insurance company won’t cover it any more.

UnitedHealth has a bright-line policy against the medication specifically, actually. It was the reason cited for not covering the drug in the first place and the only reason the appeal failed.

Over the course of a year, we pay about $1,000 more on our premium than this one pill per day costs. The retail value of all of my medications is close to $20,000 per year. That number does not include appointments, tests, and other treatments.

I’m young, too. It’s not unreasonable for a mother who had a child before she was thirty to hope to live long enough to see that child graduate from high school. Over the next 18 years, assuming no change in price or dose, my current medication cocktail will cost $355,762.80. Within a matter of a thousand dollars, that money could buy an apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City or a 2,560 square foot home near the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Hollywood Freeway in Los Angeles-- and you can get a 30-year mortgage for those.

If the insurance company pays it, other people who are insured contribute. If the government pays, then really the taxpayers are the ones paying. If the responsibility is on me to pay, I will bankrupt myself and anyone else who would like to keep me on the anti-epileptic for one more month. So who pays?

Do I deserve it?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a lot!

hm. Clearly a post that should have happened did not. How have I not written about my Kickstarter project?


The plan is a series of 13 porcelain nesting bowls. Each bowl will be decorated in such a way that it illustrates 13 levels of life: the atom, cell, organ, organism, family, community, population, habitat, biome, planet, solar system, galaxy, and universe. I plan to display the project for the 2012 ArtPrize competition.

Yes, I am working to raise money so that I can upgrade my kiln. I'm not asking anyone to give me money for nothing, though. The "from the atom up" project is something I wouldn't otherwise do-- I certainly would not have the means to do otherwise-- and hopefully I will bring value to the lives of people who support me by exhibiting the work. I'm also giving out good "rewards," and so people who support me will get an actual product. the prices on these products aren't much different than what I would charge just to have them at my table at Eastern Market.

Speaking of Eastern Market-- there are only three Tuesdays left! Unlike Saturdays, where it is hard to move, Tuesdays are very laid back. Most of the vendors sell prepared foods and baked goods. The artisans are between Sheds 2 and 3 for your pleasure. Come see me! Lucia and I will be there each of the next three upcoming Tuesdays.

I have buttons! Fifty of the sixty most fabulous buttons from this load are going to the Phat Fiber box. More details to come on that part.

I still haven't 100% sorted out how to sell buttons on my website.

it's a secret!
This is a custom work I have in process. It is a wedding bowl for some people that I love very much.

I want to make custom work for you! I can do names, dates, pictures, and all kinds of fun glazes. I do cups, mugs, bowls, plates, wine bottle chillers, jewelry bowls, yarn holder bobbin bowls, buttons, beads, magnets, and many other things. The biggest challenge I've faced yet in terms of custom work-- and the piece I am most proud of-- was a 1 gallon dutch oven. People who have custom-made pieces tend to say very nice things to me about them.

email me at for more information.

Super awesome:
Ally's yarn
I am now selling Ally's yarn. It is beautiful yarn hand-spun by a beautiful woman that I love very much.

In Summary:
1. please consider backing my Kickstarter project.
2  Eastern Market Tuesdays love you.
4. Now is a good time to place custom orders for the holiday season.
5. Ally's yarn is awesome.

Happy Tuesday!