archive for the ‘flotsam and jetsam’ category

what’s next?

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

first day of summer. these books complement each other nicely...
it’s been about two months since i finished graduate school, and i’m trying to figure out what’s next. i’ve been catching up on yard work and house work that has been ignored for months. i had a last minute yard sale and got rid of more stuff. i’ve been making dates with friends i haven’t seen recently. i considered taking a new job that had many, many great qualities to it, but in the end, i realized i didn’t need that kind of change yet, and turned it down. i’ve been walking a lot, trying to enjoy every minute of summer, because we don’t get much of it in minnesota. i’m starting to get wanderlust, and have begun planning trips. and i hope i can start making things again. i’ve been craving it lately.


Monday, April 27th, 2015

i love the creepiness of this photo
pacific coast highway
between santa cruz and pescadaro california
march 21, 2015
impossible project b&w film for sx-70 type cameras

what’s been going on…

Monday, January 12th, 2015

i had mango juice in my mimosa...yum
i think i've figured it out!

  • i spent new year’s eve in toronto with a friend. we ordered thai and watched a star trek movie marathon, then had champagne at midnight. on new year’s day we had mimosas and a ton of cheese, and made perfect chocolate chip cookies. definitely different from last year’s new year’s eve of drinking, fireworks, dancing, and getting lost at 4:30am in berlin. but it was still very awesome, despite the slower pace. i’m still working on losing my holiday weight…
  • i’m going to vietnam and china with my graduate program for the last 2 weeks of january. frankly, it’s going to be an exhausting trip, and jet lag is going to kick my ass, but i’m slowly getting excited. as i write this, the temperature in ho chi minh city is 81° F, in shanghai it’s 43° F, and in beijing it’s 34° F, which makes packing a challenge.
  • i booked a somewhat-annual end-of-february trip to san francisco, and a few days later my work proposal to go to north carolina for some staff meetings was accepted. the last week of february worked best for the team, so i’ll be taking these trips back-to-back, which is a little stressful… but i’m very fortunate to have the travel opportunities i have, and i will power through. the dog will get over my absences.

lotsa boxes
started with orange
knitting a blanket with this yearn will take forever

  • before the holidays, i got a request for a polaroid box. so i dug out the boards i cut back in spring 2010, and started assembling. all the boxes (now cubes, actually) are made, and i’ve managed to cover a few. (if you were interested in one way back in 2010, leave a comment or email me.)
  • i started knitting a super blanket. i’m in my first color… more to come…
  • i found my half-finished skirt and sweater from 2008, and i decided i am no longer interested in finishing them. so i frogged both, and i’m considering making another blanket, because it’s the only thing i know how to make.
  • i’m still really, really disappointed with the progress of impossible project’s film, and i haven’t been taking many photos with my polaroid cameras. i miss it, but i’m not spending $4 for each shitty photo. it’s really fun to see many of my friends on instagram using the fuji instax mini — fuji film is so much better. i need to start using mine more.

this fucking capstone...

  • i’m in my last semester of graduate school, and i am so fucking tired of homework. i’ve learned a ton, and so much of what i’ve learned is directly applicable to my job. but man, i don’t give a fuck about homework.


  • i’m still having fun creating #sesamestory, and i hope that i’ll have some book news later this year.
  • my obsession with vintage fisher price little people has gotten a little out of hand. more on that later…

so out of control

  • my book-buying habit got out of control in 2014. i think it’s because i couldn’t find time to read for leisure, giving me reason to hoard as many books as possible. reading all the books is another story…
  • i have read a ton of business books for both work and school, and most of them have the word “innovation” in the title. and yet, i have 2 stacks waiting for me. i have a (really great) manager that loves books as much as i do, and every time he recommends a book i add it to my wish list, and eventually they end up in my monthly order.
  • i did manage to read a few books for fun, and i highly recommend submergence, the art of sleeping alone, the soul of all living creatures, and grayson. i tried to read gone girl, and found it blah and i wasn’t interested in finishing it. so take my recommendations with a grain of salt, as i clearly have different tastes than many.
  • i just bought a kindle, thinking that it might be cheaper to buy all the business books on that. but i’m not convinced that i’ll use it very much…

niece & nephew:

  • i’ve been hanging out with these two as much as i can. i love it.

lastly, a friend sent me this link a couple of days ago: the subtle art of not giving a fuck. i’ve noticed that in the last year i’ve finally stopped giving a fuck. and it’s so fucking liberating! happy new year!

cyber monday : free shipping!

Monday, December 1st, 2014

free shipping! use coupon code: FREESHIP
it’s cyber monday and i’m offering free shipping, to anywhere, in all of my etsy shops today! use coupon code FREESHIP. start shopping:

. . .

Monday, June 9th, 2014

the first half of this year was full: graduate school, a demanding job that i enjoy most of the time, personal travel (which i avoided last fall because of grad school), and work travel… add to that i have a niece i want to spend time week at least once a week, i maintain a house with a yard by myself, and i want to test the limits of my liver with friends now and then. the purpose of this blog was to make sure i wasn’t getting swallowed by all of the above — to make sure i’m thinking creatively and making stuff when i can. but i don’t want to maintain this blog daily anymore. i need to simplify. i’m not even sure anyone reads it, so …

i still want to make stuff and i still want to take polaroids. i still want to celebrate other creative people. when i’ve got something that is share-worthy, i’ll post it here. but the M-F thing isn’t going to happen anymore, at least for the foreseeable future.

(those of you still reading: thank you!!!)

new stamp

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

i picked up this stamp at kinokuniya when i was in new york. it’s a perfect match to my crankiness and my potty mouth.

hello, 2014

Monday, January 6th, 2014

january 1, 2014, berlin
i have no resolutions, no “word for the year,” and to be honest, i no expectations that this year will be better/worse than the last. it’s a year. hopefully awesome things will happen, but i know there will be letdowns, too. so that’s that.

i spent last week in berlin, with a little jaunt to hamburg, and i’m slowly getting back into the routine of life & work & school. more about that trip to come… i posted a bunch of photos on instagram if you’re looking for a bit of wanderlust until i get the posts & photos put together…

happy new year!

things i thought i’d do with my life

Friday, August 16th, 2013
  • buy a chunk of land in the middle of nowhere & put a weehouse on it
  • buy a hobby farm and live off the land, with chickens and maybe start a CSA
  • buy a hobby farm and have a ceramics studio in an outbuilding and live off my pottery
  • get an MFA at college of visual arts (now closed)
  • move to new york
  • buy a retail space in minneapolis and open a shop
  • move to denver
  • stay in minnesota but rent an apartment in san francisco for the awful winter months
  • move to amsterdam & fall in love

obviously, none of these things have happened. but i need to do something. i need to reinvent. i thought by now i’d be moving to a new city, but i haven’t been able to decide where i want to live, and i’d really like to stick around here to for a little while longer to spend time with my niece.

so i’ve made a pretty big decision and it’s not something i thought i’d ever do:

i’m going to get a masters degree in IT management.

yeah, super sexy.

do i really want to go back to school? no. i’m terrified of homework and tests. i’m not academic. but i was promoted to a manager position at the beginning of the year and while i’ve done ok so far by flying by the seat of my pants, i’d like to know what i’m doing (especially now that i lead a team that will grow to 10 people by september). i want to succeed. and getting a masters could open new doors for my career that wouldn’t otherwise be available to me. also, i don’t want to be single forever (fuck you universe), but in the event that i am, a masters degree will help me keep a roof over my head (and fund my wanderlust) for the next however many years i have left.

my new reading pile
i fully expect that i will not have much of a life for the next 2 years, and i have no idea how this is going to affect my creativity or this space or my ability to travel. i know i won’t stop taking instant photos, but i may not have time for making stuff. we’ll see what happens!

my first day of class is today. i’ll be done in 21 months. i really hope i make it, without loosing “me” along the way.

purge post 2 : daylab 35

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

for sale : daylab!
working daylab 35 with manual, including domestic shipping: $150  (retails for $399)

i bought the daylab about 10 years ago to create emulsion lifts and transfers with polaroid film. it’s a pretty fun process: have your photos turned into slides, then put some film (polaroid 669 or fujifilm fp-100c) into the daylab, expose the film with your slide, and then play with the result:

i’ll also include 1 package of 669 film (10 prints). the film expired 10/09, has been in my possession about 7 years and was not protected from heat for many of those years. you probably won’t get much out of it, but it’s film you can use to get the hang of working with the daylab.


purge post 1 : uppercase

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

i feel like a shit for trying to sell these beauties off, but i want to lighten my load
i’m purging again.

i’m putting my uppercase magazines out on the table. i have issues #2-17. they are in fabulous shape, and most of them still have the little extras that come within. i’m not giving them away for free, because they are $18 an issue, so i’m welcoming offers. if you are interested in all of them let me know, or maybe you recently started a subscription and are looking for back issues.

it makes me sad to let them go, but it makes no sense for me to keep a pile of magazines i’ve only read once, and will very likely never read again. it stresses me out when i can’t find time to read them (i actually still have not finished #17). and it makes me sad that i’m no longer supporting such an amazing publication (i admire janine’s talent and work immensely), but i need to let go. if you’re interested, leave a comment or email me: jen at paintedfishstudio dot com.

update: they have found a good home!

no spring.

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

it's spring inside...
i think spring is skipping us this year. it snowed last night, it’s snowing this morning, it’ll snow most of today. 6-12 inches predicted. in april. sad face.

spring cleaning…

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

so painful to look at!
…is badly needed in this craft drawer.


Friday, March 22nd, 2013

envelopes for cards not yet made = a fraction of my "inventory"
did you know that all the stuff you have to make the stuff you sell is considered inventory? i did not know that until last night, when it took about 20 minutes for my accountant to explain the concept to me – and it took that long because while he was trying so hard to explain it in simple words to my work-weary brain i was trying to figure out how my many spools of binding thread and bottles of PVA (glue) and reams of paper/sheets of paper (some a decade old!) and rolls of bookcloth and packages of envelopes and printer cartridges and and and… how could it all be broken down into a price & quantity that is considered “inventory”? i always thought that inventory was the finished product you sell, not the components of the finished product that sit around waiting to be turned into something. but i guess i missed business 101, and i left my accountant’s office feeling sorta stupid and still not knowing how the hell i’d ever be able to track all that stuff.

sorry, government: my numbers for my little business that brings me happiness will probably never accurately reflect what i’ve spent and what i’ve sold. and that’s how it’s gonna be, because i don’t do it for the money (and i do not make much). you take enough out of my day job paycheck. that should cover it.

good things

Friday, March 15th, 2013

jackie's fish
i have had my fill of winter. i am so fucking done. i risk slipping and falling on ice while walking my dogs twice daily, so running is out of the question and i miss those endorphins. i miss the sun. i miss sitting outside, doing nothing. but winter just doesn’t seem to want to go… we’re in mid-march and temperatures above freezing still look to be a rarity for the next 10 days. screw you, winter.

i try to find things that i can do to make it better. and of course, when i think i’ve finally figured it out, the universe decides to spin me around and give me a completely different direction to take. see my middle finger, universe? that’s me, wishing you’d quit pushing me around. i know, i know, it’s for my own good. but still, see my middle finger?

good things this week:

  • happy mail from jackie, which included the fish above, cut from paper by her amazing hands. her package helped me get thru the week.
  • i’ve posted in other social media spots about tina roth eisenberg‘s sxsw talk, and i feel like i’ve already over-hyped it. but it’s so logical, so smart, so not-new-agey, and i was emotional numerous times over the course of 54 minutes. it’s worth a watch this weekend. her 11 rules need to be everyone’s rules. i cried when number #10 came up: “if the opportunity scares you, take it.” and then there’s number #11: “be someone’s eccentric aunt” – i’ll have no problem with that one.
  • and if you only have 47 seconds, sky + moon + comet.
  • lastly:

hope spring is approaching where you are….

happy march & happy friday!

Friday, March 1st, 2013

that is all.


Friday, October 26th, 2012

chairs oops
precious polaroid film that got stuck on its way out of the camera*
october 18, 2012
expired polaroid 600 film

. . . . . .

this week i realized i had made a mistake… i had missed something i should have caught, and it’s too late to fix it.

i am a stickler for detail. i very rarely forget to do the steps that need to be done. so when i realized my error, i freaked out. i wanted to cry but i was too tired to cry, and it was too late in the evening to contact anyone to assure me that i am not a fucking idiot and that it’ll be ok. my brain went into overdrive, trying to figure out how i could fix it. i came up with a few ideas, but none would fully erase my mistake. i forced myself to go to bed, doing everything i could to not think about it so i could fall asleep.

the next day i woke up, hit snooze a few times, savored a few more minutes in bed, until i remembered my discovery the night before. and my heart sank. i fucked up, and i still can’t fix it. but i didn’t want to dwell on it all day, so i decided that every time i started to think about it, i would try to forgive myself for the mistake and remind myself i can’t be perfect. maybe one of the fixes i came up with the night before wouldn’t be that bad… it wouldn’t totally ruin the aesthetic i wanted… and really, even though my mistake was epic in my head, few people would probably notice. i worked on forgiving myself, which i have never really done before.

yes, i missed something. it still bothers me a little, but i am not savagely beating myself up for it. it’ll be ok.

*not the mistake i am referring to in this post

spring: a comparison

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

me & hannah, bench monday, april 27 2009
like many areas in the US, spring has come to minnesota shockingly early: temperatures 30-40 degrees above normal… trees budding… and green grass. tulips, chives, iris are popping out of the ground, and i worry about a cold snap bringing them to an end. i know we won’t dip to below freezing for an extended period of time until the end of the year, but there’s still a chance of frosty nights and chilly days. while i worry about the tender plants and buds, spring’s early arrival is certainly welcome. there’s no point in worrying about what-if’s.

last night i remembered that in 2009 i documented spring’s arrival by participating in the flickr meme bench monday. i looked back and found a bench monday shot that best matched our current situation (above, with hannah), and it’s dated april 27. here we are, well ahead of schedule.

happy spring!

santa & me

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

santa & me
i think this was taken in 1977, and i do remember those pants: they were corduroy…

this is my last post for the year. i’m going to take a little end-of-the-year break, which is the usual routine here. i wish all of you happy holidays, and the best for the new year. xo

good bye, anoka!

Friday, December 16th, 2011

this photo sums up anoka pretty well
i quit my job, and today is the last day i will be driving to anoka, minnesota.

i’ve been working in anoka since january 2009. it started as a consulting gig, one that i considered very temporary, because i didn’t fit in well (anoka is about 30 minutes north of minneapolis, and is in michele bachmann’s district, and everyone there eats meat and goes to church and wears jeans and fleece sweatshirts to work. all perfectly fine things, but people that do not do all those things are treated with suspicion.) the temporary gig turned into a full-time gig about 8 months later, which was quite a surprise to me. the subject matter that i was beginning to learn and excel at? crop insurance. it’s probably the least glamorous job i’ll ever have, but at the same time, it was one of the most challenging jobs.

i will miss many of the people i work with. and i’ll miss the deli in the co-op that made me yummy sandwiches. and the vietnamese place that makes the best tofu & rice noodle salad.  and that’s about all i’ll miss.

my new job starts on monday. i’m not taking a break in between, and i’m not taking a break over the holidays (which i may regret greatly). i’m just going to jump right in!

happy weekend!


Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

too many tights!
my fall/winter uniform: dress, tights, boots. sometimes people say stuff like: you sure like dresses. or do you ever wear jeans? or you dress up a lot. and sometimes i try to explain that wearing a simple sweater dress with tights that aren’t binding is so, so, so comfy and is just like wearing pajamas all day, but sometimes i just shrug my shoulders and say i like wearing dresses. i wasn’t always this way: i was a jeans girl in my 20′s and the first part of my 30′s. but now i like dresses and tights.

some of what you see here is new, but a few pairs are left over from last season, purchased at deep discount when the weather warmed. target and h&m are my go-to. i can’t wait to wear the yellow pair. tomorrow is the first day of autumn, maybe i’ll wear the yellow tights to celebrate.