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Our Indy Race (1st Lap)

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Travel | 0 comments

It was just after 1am, and we were passing Indy cars like they were standing still.

Because they were. Phillip and I, on the other hand, were racing through the Indianapolis International Airport, dodging puzzled, groggy passengers.

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When we were still waiting to get off the plane, I had called our hotel’s shuttle dispatch. They let me know we could take the one that was already en route – if we could make it to the stop in time. If not, it wouldn’t wait for us, because they were also picking up a flight crew, and we’d have to wait around for the 2am pickup.

Sitting halfway back on a plane with an aisle clogged with impatient passengers, we had just under 15 minutes, directions I’d already forgotten, and only carryon luggage. We decided to go for it.

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So we ended up sprinting through the airport, not towards a flight but away from one, relying on ambiguous signage to guide us. Finally, we spotted the words “ground transportation” with an arrow pointing towards exterior doors.

We burst outside with a few minutes to spare, only to be greeted by air thick with humidy and mosquitoes, an empty curb, and a vague sense that we were not in the right place.

I redialed the shuttle dispatch. The same woman patiently explained again where we were actually supposed to be.

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We rushed downstairs, out the door and across the street, and finally found our stop with the aforementioned flight crew sitting on nearby benches, waiting for the shuttle.

While I was trying to nonchalantly catch my breath in the heavy air, I realized this could possibly be the crew from our flight. In other words, they may have just calmly gotten off our plane after us and everyone else, strolled through the terminal, and arrived here sooner. Which would mean we could have done the same without all the panic, confusion, and mosquitoes.

But maybe it wasn’t them. In fact, let’s just say it wasn’t.

I didn’t look too closely.

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Either way, we all made it onto the shuttle. The woman from dispatch even called the driver to check on us.

“Yep.” she replied, turning onto the ramp that lead from the airport to the freeway. “Everyone’s here.”

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– More info –

Watch for at the Indianapolis Airport:

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A Mural for the Missing

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Craft, Travel | 0 comments

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A community art project that was too controversial for New York city has found a home in Phoenix’s Grand Avenue arts district.

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The mural was nearly finished when I stopped by last week. Half a dozen artists were there painting or standing back to Instagram the process – which, really, is also part of spreading a message. In fact, I only heard about the piece because one of the artists from the Frida Kahlo exhibit, Monique Mata, had shared it there.

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The Mission

The inspiration came from the film Who is Dayani Cristal?, a documentary that retraces the steps of the migrant trail in Central America in an effort to identify a body discovered in the Sonoran desert.

This work of helping families find the bodies of missing migrants is exactly what the nonprofit Colibrí Center for Human Rights in Tucson does, as well as providing counseling and advocacy services. Their Missing Migrant Project has the goal of “working to end migrant death and related suffering on the U.S.-Mexico border.”

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Mata Ruda, the New York/New Jersey artist who designed the mural, believes awareness and prevention are key to this. If migrants are invisible to society, their deaths will go unnoticed, the problem unsolved.

The mural is one way to tell their story, make them visible.

While taking a popsicle break, he filled me in on the history of the project – that it been approved then later blocked at 5 different sites from a musuem in New York City to a garage in downtown Phoenix, apparently due to its subject matter. Finally, the Colibrí Center connected them with the spot at La Melgrosa art space.

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The Mural

The mural is also called “Colibrí,” named for Colibrí Center and for the hummingbird, which migrates throughout the Americas. It was created to bring awareness of the often-overlooked migrant community.

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At least 7 artists collaborated on the piece, mostly from Arizona (with one traveling across the state from the Navajo reservation).

 

You can see the finished mural outside Creation Station at La Melgosa, 1023 W. Grand Avenue in Phoenix.

Mata Ruda’s hope is that Colibrí remains a permanent piece of public art and that it makes people aware of the migrants who often are invisible to society.

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Like the community it represents, the project has been on a long journey to finally be seen.

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Craft Camp is coming!

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Craft | 0 comments

The awesomeness of our monthly CraftHack meetups could not be contained. One of the organizers, Anne Watson Barber, has planned an entire day for the same kind of learning, crafting, and connecting that happens there. And you’re definitely invited!

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Craft Camp is happening Saturday, August 8 at TechShop Chandler. The morning will be filled with talks and workshops to help artists, makers, and crafters learn how to turn their craft into a passion project or business.

I will be part of a blogging panel at 11:15, along with Kitty Carlisle of the Grammatical Activist and Kelli Donley of AfricanKelli. We’ll be sharing strategies and tools to help you get the word out about your craft blog and build your community.

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There will also be panels on photographing your creations, crafting for charity, and how to sell via ecommerce and retail.

The afternoon will be a time to craft and meet other crafters.

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Registration is $20. Proceeds go to Refugee Focus, an organization that helps refugees in Arizona. Several of our CraftHack-ers volunteer with them, teaching refugee women sewing and other job skills.

I think it’s going to be a really great day! Please tell your artsy-crafty friends and register via the CraftHack Facebook page.

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– More info –

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El Amor de Frida in a Phoenix Library

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Craft, Travel | 4 comments

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The main branch of the Phoenix Library is holding, “El Amor de Frida,” a free art exhibition (through 7/26) in honor of Frida Kahlo’s birthday.

We went and checked it out yesterday.

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The works, created by members of the Phoenix Fridas collective and other local artists, are inspired by the life, beliefs, and words of Frida Kahlo. An oversized statue of the Mexican painter marks the front of the exhibit, which also features mixed media, sculptures of wire and glass, painted plates, jewelry, and a portrait made from seed beads.

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It’s another great example of art in libraries!

(If you can’t see the short video I posted of the glass elevator ride, check it out on my Instagram.)

 

Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

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You can make pickles without canning!

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Craft | 0 comments

One week our CSA box came with more cucumbers than we knew what to do with.

Someone suggested making pickles, but so far I’ve shied away from anything that involves actual canning. The combination of glass jars + boiling water + my klutziness sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

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So I was really excited to learn you could make refrigerator pickles without the whole scary canning process. As the name would suggest, they need to remain chilled and not on a shelf.

I shared a few jars with family. They were as excited as if I’d done something really brilliant and difficult, when, in reality, it was much easier than conquering my fear of canning.

I’ll tell you how I did it, as long as everyone agrees to keep thinking (or at least acting like) I’m brilliant.

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EatingWell’s post on “How to pickle anything” was the key. I decided to make sour/dill pickles, seasoned with various combinations of fresh oregano, green onions, garlic, dill, turmeric, and cumin seeds.

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Following their guide, I sliced cucumbers, piled them in just-washed jars, added seasonings, and then made the brine to poured over the top.

The next day it was time for a taste test – and we had pickles! It was almost like magic. They were great on sandwiches and turkey burgers and even just piled on the plate as a side dish. Refrigerator pickles keep for about a month and the flavor gets stronger, so they were pretty intense by the end.

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From there, you can experiment with seasonings and even use the same recipe with different vegetables.

Brilliant, right?

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Fountain Square Signs

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Travel | 8 comments

We made it back from Indiana. The humidity wasn’t as bad as I’d worried it would be. The mosquitoes were surprisingly persistent, despite our super-strength deet. But the fireflies winked at us in the evenings, and we saw almost everyone we went out there to see.

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At one point, we had just a little extra time to kill in Indianapolis, so we went and checked out the historic Fountain Square. Not much was open yet, but we did see some interesting architecture and vintage-looking signs I wanted to share – in case you’re as geeky about this stuff as I am.
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Diamonds, anyone?


Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

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