Category Archives: Art in Analog

Will Bruder Weekend

Hey internet peoples.  I wanted to let you know that I am back with a vengeance.  We are moved into our rental house and I’m still not working so it’s time to blog, baby, blog.  I’ve had this post sitting in the hopper for a week now so I thought I’d hit publish on this one and hit you after Thanksgiving with some pics from the new place.

Now that we’re (mostly) relocated down to Phoenix, JT and I have been roaming the city, learning the streets and being tourists in our new town.  It has been sunny and at least 75 degrees everyday which helps encourage the getting-out-and-about vibe.  Last weekend we did a lot of exploring of the outdoors, so this weekend we did a little indoor exploration.  Well sort of, let me explain.

Friday kicked off with me trolling Apartment Therapy (this retirement thing is pretty sweet) and happening upon a House Tour of the director of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (


(Image via Apartment Therapy, by Lindsey Nochta)

Check out the house tour – there are some phenomenal images of a well curated space.  I have been enjoying the houses around here so much – it’s a totally different housing stock from STL.  At any rate, from the house tour I learned about SMoCA and when I browsed over to its site, I found out it’s open until 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays and also free after 5pm. (Good for our budget because moving costs $$).


(Image above via Build LLC blog)

The main architect of the building is Will Bruder, who we are learning is a prominent Phoenix architect.

Visiting in the evening was really nice – the museum was basically ours.  One other couple came in just as we were leaving.  JT snapped this picture of me in the Narrow Road to the Interior exhibit.  He’s always keeping me in line because I have a tendency to get too close to the art.  This one had a note that said you could climb in, you just had to take your shoes off first.  It didn’t say anything about leaving your purse at the door but I did that too.  I love it.


The other really neat thing about visiting SMoCA at night is the James Turrell skyspace.  Here’s a daytime shot from the Build LLC blog:


And here’s a crummy iPhone night-time shot of JT.  I want to go back.


But before we hit the art museum, we were driving around looking for a dinner destination.  I had seen a place I  wanted to try on a strip mall sign but when we went back, it wasn’t actually in the strip mall.  We had passed a cool round building in the process that looked like some sort of drive-thru/walk-up joint so headed there and ended up at Ingo’s Tasty Food.


(Image via The Phoenix News Time blog)

There was a catch though – it wasn’t officially open yet, they were doing a soft opening to train the staff and work out all the kinks.  Turns out this building was also designed by the same Mr. Will Bruder as SMoCA.  It was a gorgeous evening so we sat outside and had free (really good) burgers and sangria (veggie for me, some kind of barbeque madness for JT).  So far I have to say, Arizona is Amazing.

Have a great Tofurkey Day and I’ll be back soon with some pictures of the new place.  Cheers – CT

Not the Momma! (Moma)

At our house growing up we used to watch the show “Dinosaurs” and all I really remember is the baby dinosaur (whose mischevious antics reminded us of our own baby of the family) beating the dad dinosaur on the head and saying “Not the momma!”  Like so:

In this case instead of “Not the Momma!” I’m angling towards “Not the Moma!” – as in the New York Museum of Modern Art.  Here’s the back story after that painful transition — JT and I decided to check out a new Savers that opened up in Crestwood a few weeks back.  I was strolling the art aisle when I saw an interesting piece that had a nice plexiglass wrapped frame.  I flipped it over to see the price and was struck by this:


A MOMA sticker?  In the Savers store in Crestwood, Missouri?  For $5, a cool acrylic frame, an interesting composition on the other side and the mystery of a MOMA sticker, we paid up and scampered out.  There were some screws holding the whole assembly together so we got home, cued up the Elvis Costello and began playing history detectives.


According to the sticker and our friend Wikipedia, this is what the front should be.


A gold chloride toned print by the French photographer Eugene Atget.  However Wikipedia also told me that this is also in the Yale University Art Gallery.  I guess that could refer to just the original and maybe there are prints out there.  However,  New Haven is a long way from STL so . . . here’s what was paired up with the MOMA tag:


I’m not good with art terms but it appears to be an assembled paper and ink/paint piece.  The mystery deepens — when I turned this piece over, there was some writing on the back:


“Ciulei (chew-lay) Dancing for the Grey Female” and signed Rev Sullies (?).  Google has not been kind to me on this one.  Anyone have any ideas?

At any rate, I like it and the frame it came in so I  think I’m going to display it on the back porch — there is one little sliver of wall between the kitchen door and the kitchen window on which to hang art.  I still wish it could have matched the tag and I could have had a crazy story to tell on Antiques Roadshow about how I ended up with a French photograph from the 1920s  . . . . Anyone else ever find something so bizarre at a thrift store?  I’m sure there’s some good stories of crazy thrift finds out there.  It’s all about the thrill of the hunt.  Cheers – CT

Spastic and Sporadic

Things have been a bit spastic and sporadic over here at Living Analog.  I have about 500 projects half started and zero finished.  We’re getting ready for our “Sweetheart’s Dinner” (AKA Valentine’s Dinner Party) and I’ve been really been looking for ways to amp this up and squeeze some juicy blog content out of it.  So that led to more projects . . .

So what have I done (besides whining and bellyaching)?  Well Pinterest is the devil and sidetracked me with some recipes: baked cinnamon apple chips and homemade cheese-its that I just had to try:


The apple chips were eat-them-right-now-and-then-make-more good.  The DIY cheese-its were a little meh.  I think I left the dough in the fridge too long and need to roll them thinner.  It was good enough to give it a second try — plus it’s nice to make these and know what four ingredients are in them versus the chemical smorgasbord you buy at the store.  Off my soapbox now . . .  are you on Pinterest? I’m mildly addicted and sometimes majorly annoyed.  I’ll pin something and later go to click-through to the original source and . . . nothing.  Or spam.  Right now my policy is to only repin items — Pinterest is still a gray area for makers and artisans — do they want their items pinned for all to attempt a duplicate?  Maybe not.  So by only repinning, I’m sort of off the hook when it comes to the point of putting someone else’s item on Pinterest without their permission.  The exception to that is items for sale — I totally have a pin board with a crazy expensive purse that I want.  I figure if an item is available for internet retail, they only benefit by having it on Pinterest. . . .


That’s me, if you want to meet up over there.  I should figure out how to put a linky-thing up for that.  I probably also need to start watermarking my photos but that’s for another day . . . no time, too many projects!

Oh yeah . . .another Pinterest project . . .


(Pardon the bad iPhone picture).  This is my plan to tie in the arc lamp and all its brassy goodness.  Add some more gold/brass!  This is a thrift store canvas I picked up for a few dollars and have spray painted metallic.  Next step paint like this cool pin:


{Image via this blog}

Now that I look at my version versus their version, I think I am going to retape.  I like how this canvas has one major vanishing point . . . back to the drawing board . .  . and onto other projects . . .

Here’s something for the dinner party:


I found this little cookie cutter at World Market and it will make little shortbread cookies that sit on the edge of a coffee cup.  And I just got new coffee cups that nest into a little serving tray from my mom for Christmas so I know that will be getting used. . . next?


Here’s my view from bed last night.  A little progress on the art wall . . .

A project with less progress is the pile ‘o paperwork I dug out of the hall closet for filing, shredding and other such pain in the ass handling.  I need to get this sucker finished.


So that is a random wrap-up of the random goings-on at the Living Analog abode.  It’s all kinds of spastic and sporadic . . . I’ve got project A.D.D – hopping from one to the next back to another . . .

Speaking of spastic and sporadic, or maybe just neurotic . . . does anyone else sort their M&Ms by color or is that just me . . .


Yep, officially into crazy.  Back to the races, I mean projects . . .I mean work.  Cheers – CT

Up next in the bedroom, an art wall

Now that we’re fully up and operational in 2013, I’m working on getting some momentum in the bedroom. (I’m referring to decorating momentum for those of you mind-in-the-gutter-folks.)  Over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of little odds and ends to be framed and I’ve been stashing them away.  This year I want to create two gallery “art” walls – one in the bedroom and another in the living room.

So I began by unearthing all my treasures.


I’m a hoarder.  I had a roll-up tube of things I didn’t even get out because I’m pretty sure it still has a “City of Angels” movie poster from my days in high school working at the local Blockbuster.  Also, the bedroom is still in its redecorating funk (e.g. when it gets worse before it gets better. )

Next I sorted my finds into two groupings based on color and feel.  The grouping for the living room has more of the brighter colors and the grouping for the bedroom is a little more muted.  Nothing is set in stone here but I wanted to get a feel for what I could use.

Here’s what came together for the bedroom grouping:


(Also the extra-large canvas is moving back in from its temporary home in the living room.) Only one item here did I spend actual cash money on — the Bernard Buffet print.  (My art terminology is not good — is it called a print or a reproduction?  It seems to be printed on a thick chipboard paper.)  The rest of these items were either  given to me, like the collage by Susan Springer Anderson or scrounged by me  (everything else).


Nothing is too sacred or too silly around our house to not end up in a frame.  I view everything with the eyes of a scavenger and think about what use and/or re-use I can find for it.

Serendipitously, my sister and I had a date with Goodwill this weekend (the one on Watson) as we were out doing some wedding craft things.  (I also had culled two large bags of stuff to drop off and then in we went as part of my frigid winter spring cleaning.)  Low and behold, six larger picture frames for a grand total of $17.


(Pardon me but it appears this picture has a hint of dog butt as well.  That happens a lot in our house.)  I still haven’t decided what color to keep the frames but it’s a start.  Art wall 2013.

Let’s Get Large

Large art I mean!  Art that will cover walls and have a “presence” (said in a singing Oprah voice, right?). 

Back in 2010 I got a crazy idea that I wanted a very large art piece for the bedroom.  We made a trip across the street (almost literally across the street) to Home Depot and picked up some simple trim lumber, angle brackets and a canvas dropcloth.  It was fairly simple to put together, although once we stretched the dropcloth around the frame and stapled it into place, the outer frame bowed in slightly.  We added a few more intermediary members to try to straighten it back out (to mostly no avail).


A few coats of gesso later (which you can get pretty much anywhere that sells craft paint like Michaels or Hobby Lobby) the Home Depot canvas dropcloth became a bona fide canvas.  I experimented with a few different paint layouts before deciding I liked none of them and just went with a simple brush coat of our living room wall color. (All pictures from the basement of shame.)


While it was hanging in the bedroom which had white walls from the previous owner, it worked out.  But the furniture shuffle started once again when new owners came and took away the dressers Friday after work.  That left a big blank wall in the living room.  We can’t have that!  So I looked around my piled-with-furniture basement and pulled out a low slatted Nelson-esque table and brought it upstairs.  It’s twin was under the tree (Little Walter) so I swapped that out for a stool and voila . . .


A new place for the large art.  We’re about the start painting the rest of the bedroom walls so the canvas needed to be relocated temporarily.  Now it  was maybe 9pm on Friday night (I know how to party, folks) and JT was out at a gig.  The tone on tone color was so boring . . . .


So I did what any normal/impetuous person would do and I painted it. (Sorry for the middle of the night no lights on in the living room picture.  All I got.)


I did the bottom band in the Urbane Bronze of the living room accent wall and the middle band with the paint color for the bathroom (and I already can’t remember the name or if it was the first one that we discarded . . . I’ll have to check the can).  The top band I left the wall color which is Amazing Gray (Sherwin Williams genius).  Here it is by the light of the next morning and I think Sophie likes it.  Or she’s concerned about what’s going on at the back door.  Who knows what that dog is thinking.  (And yes, if you look really close Where’s Waldo style, you can see that our kitchen counter is a mess.  Real life things like cooking and coffee-making and giving the dogs their vitamins take place in this house.)

Here’s a sneak peek of the canvas yesterday, after Christmas decorating had hit the house. . . .


More on the rest of the holiday decorations soon!  I finally got to string up my little punched circle garland and I was so happy!  Cheers – CT

The last of our Green Shag goodies . . .

As promised, one of our other “picks” from Green Shag market is guitar-related:

Amongst JT’s dizzying array of guitars, can you pick out the new (old) stand?    The previous stand was a little tech-y and JT was always having to pack it up to take with him to gigs.  Now this new sculptural beauty can stay put in the music room (although the back leg does fold in for transport).

Better yet, it can also hold acoustic guitars which the old stand couldn’t handle.

(Not pictured with an acoustic guitar though — for the most part his Gibson lives in its case with its humidifier . . . )

We also found a bundle of old teacher’s aids posters.  They were all 18×24 or larger and really affordably priced for larger scale artwork.

There was a spot in the music room needing some art.  There are actually a lot of spots in our house needing some art, but let’s start with this spot.  For most of our time in this house, we were displaying our diplomas here:

But college graduation is fast becoming a memory and I need the frames for some artwork in the KITCHEN so down them came.

I didn’t have a large frame for our new poster and wasn’t really willing to spend any amount of $ on it.  I had some mat board down in the basement so I measured out the interior opening I would need, brushed on a few coats of black acrylic craft paint and jerry-rigged together a hanging mechanism out of some painter’s tape and a piece of leather cord.

Ta da, artwork!  (Or back of artwork, at any rate . . . )

The back says this “Specimens of original 19th-century American wood type.  From American Wood Type by Rob Roy Kelly.  Copyright 1969 by Litton Educational Publishing Inc.  Courtesy of Rob Roy Kelly and Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York.    Then it goes on to detail educational facts about typography and the interplay of negative and positive shapes.  That’s a lot of words to retype.  We’re more worried about what it looks like in the music room, right?

And I like that it’s music related (ish?)  Can anyone else see the word “Hum” or is this just one of those Magic Seeing Eye posters with a different label on the back . . .  The blue walls seem to color shift a little in each picture I take in there . . . just like the KITCHEN!   Pictures of that next post!

Artwork – at last

So I’ve been delaying and delaying posting about my new artwork because I wanted to have it all framed and pretty and such.  With everything else we’ve been doing to the house, it just hasn’t happened yet. 

Without further ado, here’s the new additions to our (very modest) art collection:

They are both by my cousin, Susan Springer Anderson, who I posted about earlier here.  The collage item on the left is an original my mother got me for Christmas.  I’ve had it on my Etsy watch list for a while and then it disappeared, only to turn up under the tree!  The one on the right is an archival giclee print that JT and I added to our collection for our anniversary.  It seemed fitting to bring a bluebird of happiness into the house as an anniversary gift representing the happiness my husband brings to me.  Be sure to check out Susan’s Etsy shop Delicate Utility here and her blog here.  Good stuff!

I decided to go ahead and blog about my unframed, unhung artwork because I know it will be a while until I get frames — our next whirlwind IKEA trip is currently on the books for February!!!  (and frames are first thing on my list.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s my list . . . )

IKEA list #2 is now in the works on their website and besides picture frames it includes sheepskins and kitchen accessories.  I’m still deciding on the Strind coffee table I hemmed and hawed about the other day . . . . it might be a good placeholder until the perfect thing comes along.  Anything else I just have to have from IKEA?  I’m most definitely open to suggestions!!

Art in Analog – Susan Springer Anderson

When I was in New York last year, I also got a change to catch up with my second cousin (first cousin once removed?  My mom is cousins with her dad) Susan Springer Anderson.  We hadn’t seen each other since a Springer family reunion at my childhood home in Wisconsin in 1990 (I think!).  I dug through all the family pictures looking for the one of us as twins (Due to being second cousins we looked very similar to each other as 10 year-old girls.  And I always had wanted a twin so I probably begged her relentlessly to wear a matching outfit and pretend with me.)  This was the only thing I found — taken by yours truly, this is an illustration of how horrible I am with a camera.
Yep, I took that picture on an angle, trying to be all artistic or something. 

Anyways, back to the story at hand.  JT and I met up with Susan at the Candle Cafe in NY.  (Turns out my “twin” is also a vegetarian like me!)  I found out she is up to some pretty awesome things.  Besides having the guts to move to the Big Apple and make it work, she is also an artist! 

Check out more of her work at her blog, Delicate Utility.  I love the 3D armatures with found plant materials (above).

Although I will admit this one kind of gives me the willies, I love seeing the process and work that goes into Susan’s pieces.

The dresses are my favorite . . . .

The one on the left (above) is made of coffee filters and the other is the New York Times.  Project Runway anyone?

Here’s my “Project Runway” moment:

Me and my co-workers crafted the front outfit for the International Interior Designers Association “Unravel” fashion show.  It’s made out of all Haworth furniture parts and pieces.  Enough with amateur hour — back to Susan.

She’s on Etsy as well.  Oh how I love Etsy.  Oh the hours I spend looking at the wonderous assortment of vintage scarves, vintage shoes and delightful artwork.  (What can I say, I have very specific tastes.)

I pulled a few things to show from Susan’s current Etsy shop.  Obviously I have teal/turquoise on the brain . . . this Gloria journal is great.  I always have a little journal with me to jot down things when I’m out and to keep all my measurements and such in. 

Here’s what I’m sporting right now — a free paper one from the latest NeoTini (design trade show in STL).  Even though I use my iPhone for a lot of things, I still need to physically write things down as well.  I can’t seem to let go of that. (Maybe because it’s so satifying when you cross something off the list?)

Although I think the Gloria would be a much more stylish option, don’t you?

I think this next creation might go on my wish/covet list.  I think the artwork that hangs in one’s home needs to have special meaning for its owner.  I think the fact that my “twin” has created something so unique would make it special to me.  Plus the colors and textures are sophisticated and read as both muted and fresh at the same time. 
JT if you’re reading this, we need some more anniversary artwork!  I think that sounds like a great tradition to keep going. 

Thanks to Susan for a) humoring me and dressing up like my twin back in the day and allowing me to blab all about it on the interwebs and b) for letting me use all these images.  I wish her continued success but know that with her talent it will come regardless of any wishes.  Cheers!

Our First Art

One of my favorite things about visiting a new place is seeing what kind of art museum(s) they have to check out (much to the chagrin of my husband, who does love art but more of the aural variety).  Visual inspiration is all around.  Once JT and I established our house, I began looking for some visual inspiration we could bring into our lives and call our own. 

JT and I have a very small (and hopefully growing) art collection.  Our first real art purchase is the ink abstract piece that hangs in the dining nook right now.  (I say right now because I’m thinking about rearranging and creating an art wall.  We’ll see.)  It is titled “I Am With You Always” by Melanie Blunk Dolan.

Not only do I love love love the color palette, the name of the piece itself also really speaks to me.  Having lost my father over 7 years ago, this is a bittersweet reminder to me that I have the best guardian angel a girl can have.  
It is just perfect in the mat and frame that Melanie delivered it in.  However the protective acrylic makes it hard to photograph well (not that I have ever taken such great photographs to start with . . . )  We used to have Johnny Cash print hanging in that spot but that meant that one of the first things you saw upon entering our home was Johnny Cash flipping you off, so he moved his vulgar self to the music room where he is much more appreciated.

When I started this post, I wanted to include more information about the artist. JT and I first saw her abstract ink collection displayed at Murdoch Perk (home of the best spiced mocha ever).  But that was over two years ago and her work was only on a display for a month (after which JT purchased “I Am With You Always” as an anniversary gift, so sweet.)   I jumped around the inter-webs, my constant source of factoids, and came across the blog of fellow St. Louisan  Neil E. Das.  His pictures make me want to cry – tears of jealousy and marvel at being able to take such beautiful beautiful pictures while I fight a losing battle against my camera every day.  Along with breath-taking pictures and insightful writing and haikus, there was also the following artist statement by Melanie.

Artist Statement

Creating ink abstracts is liberating. These abstracts released from within have given me renewed freedom and enthusiasm for life. I believe an artistic talent lies dormant in each of us; my desire is for others to experience through the color and flow of my work a sense of freedom and joy that leads to the discovery of one’s own talent.

Abstract inks are surprises–like life. Each painting is a gift with an unpredictable fusion of color. Sometimes the colors blend; sometimes a color overshadows another; and at other times one color graciously moves aside making room for a passer-by. Life, like the ink, asks me to stay in the moment accepting that I am not in control. Once I surrender, an unforeseen creation emerges.

My hope is that you will be inspired by my work. Comments are always welcome:

I agree with Melanie — there is a creative person inside of each of us.  What we choose to do with that creative self is different for everyone.  I am lucky to use my creativity daily both in my job and in tinkering with things in our home and then boring the internet with all the details.  Good times.  I also have a strong appreciation for the creativity of others and I love to be surrounded by beautiful, visual things.  That’s why I’m so glad we stumbled upon Melanie’s work and wanted to share it with everyone.  To me, that’s the way to bring art into your life — find something that speaks to you, whether through the colors, shapes or composition and it will always be at home where you are.

Happy Monday — have a great week inter-webs!