07 Oct

I heart Ira Glass. I’m sure you do, too. Unless you hate him.

I just – gosh! – can I tell you how much I love Ira Glass? I know, it’s cliche. I should be over it by now. But… whatever, there’s not even anything I can say about it, he’s just that awesome. Can I just tell you, though, probably once every 6 months or so, for the past, like, 5 years, I have been overcome with the urge to gush about him (just like this!), and I type up a blog post (just like this!), and then I end up deleting it because people will just think I’m a crazy. But not this time!

(Let me break to say, to those of you who see him as the face of self-indulgent, empty quirk: I get it, and I’m sorry, I’m still buyin’ the act.)

Okay, seriously? I was just having a really nice, quiet evening tonight, and I randomly put on some old TAL that had been living in my iPod for years, while I was eating dinner, and I caught this great piece that I kind of wanted to tell you about, which doesn’t even really have anything to do with Ira Glass (but then, it’s Studs Terkel, who’s about the only storyteller ever that could make TAL even better). But then, I let it go, and moved on with my life.

And then I found this, and well, I just had to share it.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

04 Oct

You guys, I totally made this.

I finally finished this project that I started almost two months ago at Stitch Lab. I got everything arranged on the kitchen wall yesterday morning, and I’ve been dying to show it off here – I just couldn’t figure out what to say about it. I keep putting on my blog voice, you know?

So… here’s why I want to share this piece with you:

1. I think it’s awesome. Yes, I am concerned about going a bit overboard about my little arts and crafts project, but c’mon – it’s awesome, right? :) I am not an artist, and this is the first project I’ve ever done like this. But Kat‘s class description sparked an idea, and I thought it would be a fun way to use my craft love in a new way. There is a poster in my living room which says, “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong” (Joseph Chilton Pearce). I referred to it constantly. The other day, when I was almost done with it, I was SO EXCITED about how it turned out (except for the lips, which is a whole other story). I started planning out the kitchen wall, and then the judgement snuck in. Should I really put this in the kitchen? Where everyone will see it? This is kind of stupid, right? So I thought, maybe I will hang it behind the bar, in the other room, where just about nobody ever goes. When my best friend came over for dinner on Saturday, though, I couldn’t resist getting it out. And she loved it! Her excitement gave me some courage, and onto the kitchen wall it went. Lessons: art doesn’t have to be perfect, you’re not the only judge of what looks good, and when in doubt, invite your friends over.

2. I got to make it with my mom (and some other fun girls over at Stitch Lab). Maybe I’ve mentioned this arts-in-community thing? Visits for my mom and I actually tend to include some kind of project – we’ve sewn a shopping bag at Christmas, built a hidden medicine cabinet when I was getting ready to sell my place in Chicago, made dishcloths during a fall visit (she crochets, I knit), put together our own “deluxe” pin cushions from fabric scraps (you can see a picture of mine – at least for now – on the home page for Retreat Austin). My mom is a whiz on the sewing machine, and she continues to amaze me with the power tools she’s able to master. So I learn a lot from her (and sometimes she learns from me), and the work feeds our relationship, and then of course, we usually end up with something tangible that’s pretty cool. This project was a bit of an accident – not sure I would have suggested that we sign up for the course together, but I’d already registered when she booked her trip, so I asked her if she wanted to come along. We had a great time in the studio, met some fun and interesting women in the class, and had something to work on for the two weeks she was visiting. I love this.

3. Courage. Do you mind if I digress for a moment?
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