5 Years Later

I received a large package via Fed Ex yesterday.
Mini-Ambiotic, the sculpture that has been traveling
since 2008 in the group exhibit Reimagining
Distaff Toolkit, is home. The works of Betye and
Alison Saar were also in this exhibit, two artists I

Mini-Ambiotic in its crate, arrived safely
home after 5 years of touring. The
sculpture is made out of sewing pattern
paper, wire, beeswax, and a vintage
children's ironing board.
The press release for the exhibit:
Each work of art in Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit
features a tool that was important for women's domestic
labor from the 18th century through World War II. The
artists have placed objects such as a dressmaker’s
figure, pots, pans, baskets, rolling pins, darning eggs
and rug-beaters at the center of their works. One
piece incorporates a 19th-century distaff, which was
used to hold wool during spinning. Over time, the
word "distaff" came to refer to matters and objects
relevant to the domestic or women’s sphere, and then,
to women, generally.

Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit is curated by Dr.
Rickie Solinger, historian, curator and author. The
approximately thirty-five pieces of art in this exhibition
are on loan from contemporary artists representing
all geographic regions of the country.

Five years ago, before I sent out
Mini-Ambiotic, I took this photo of
my daughters next to it. They
have changed and grown so much
since then.
I really didn't have a '5 Year Plan' five years
ago, but as soon as this package arrived I had
a flood of sentimental gratitude. Five years ago
was about the time I stopped making so many
plans, started this blog, and, perhaps, really
started embracing the present.


Asking for Help. Step two: watch this video

"Through the very act of asking people, I connected with
 them. And when you connect with them, people want to 
help you. It’s kind of counterintuitive for a lot of artists--
they don't want to ask for things. It’s not easy to ask…
Asking makes you vulnerable... The perfect tools aren't 
going to help us if we can't face each other and 
give and receive fearlessly, but more important, 
to ask without shame." Amanda Palmer

There is more here from her TED presentation:


Difficulties asking for help? Step one: admit it.

How did she do that? Mrs. Besonen you have 
yoda drawing hands. I wave my magic (yet creepy)
hand and respond, "Patience, young Skywalker,
patience." I am an art teacher; I help people deal
with insecurities and uncertainty.
Coiled, Oil Painting Study
created when demonstrating
to my High School Painting students
Yes, I help people for a living, but I have to admit
I am horrible at asking for help. And that, I have
decided, is not a good example to my own daughters
or my students. When a recent surgery left me flat on
my back, dehydrated, in pain and whimpering like
a baby, it hit me. Even when I am in this state, I 
still don't want to ask for help. That is messed up,
and probably based on some lingering perfectionism
and a weird desire for people to read my mind and
help without being asked.

If being laid up and watching American Pickers on
the History channel has taught me anything, JUST
ASK. “People ask, ‘How did you get that?’
I asked.” Mike Wolfe, American Picker.

Here are some links to recent research about
what I call asking-for-help-impaired.