November 29, 2007

Cease and Desist

This week I received a cease and desist letter from the High Museum of Art here in Atlanta. I took photos of artwork at the High, during my three visits over the past two years. While these photos were taken under the noses and with full compliance from the guards, I then posted them in the public forum of the Internet. This violated the tacit copyright restrictions that I agreed to, without my knowledge, upon entering their building.

While I may consider my photos, which included photos of my face and my sister’s face, to be interpretive derivations of the artwork at the museum, which thus makes the photo itself my artwork and not the property of the High, I cannot afford the stress and money involved in arguing against the powers of our corrupted copyright system.

I have removed all my photos of the High from Flickr.

Where do I go from here?

I feel my options are:
– stop taking photos of art
– stop posting photos on-line
– stop using flickr since it is too “public”
– stop labeling photos I put on-line
– stop making my photos public

The whole idea that you can “copyright” a physical object in a way that makes it a violation to create an interpretive representation of said object makes me livid. This deformed and absurd level of “ownership” destroys my ability to appreciate the artwork. What’s left if not appreciation? I might as well just stare at blank walls.

November 25, 2007

Slice of sunshine

sunshine
November 23, 2007

Learning to knit

ribbed scarf

Last November my Mom taught me how to crochet. It began a love affair with hooking that resulted in many beautiful finished projects and many nights dreaming about crochet. I even joined a local crochet group. They meet every week at a nearby bookstore and put my crochet obsession to shame. Most of these amazing women have been crocheting, knitting and sewing for fifty years or more. They are ready to share their knowledge and bring more people into the fold. It has been terrific.

This month I decided that my Mom should teach me how to knit. It also gave me a great excuse to take her to my local yarn store, Knitch. After a couple hours at the yarn store and some basic lessons from Mom I was happily knitting along. After a week of practice I have completed my first two projects, the ribbed scarf pictured above and the hat shown here.

ribbed hat

Knitting is fun but it hasn’t captured my heart like crochet. I will continue to knit mainly because there are certain things that just work better knit, but I will dream in crochet.

November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

Westin Parents

Happy Thanksgiving! I am celebrating today by arriving at work at the inhumane hour of 7am (aka first shift). SB will be celebrating today by arriving at work at the equally inhumane hour of 11pm (aka third shift). Those eight hours in between my shift and his will be golden, filled with home cooked food and friends.

We celebrated family last week with our annual visit from my parents. This year we re-visited a couple Atlanta favorites of theirs The Flying Biscuit and The Atlanta Botanical Garden. We also traveled to the North Georgia Mountains to visit the new pottery museum, picnicked at Piedmont Park and spent a morning at The High Museum of Art.

This visit also marked the first time they have stayed in our new guest room, which worked out beautifully and made for a much more relaxed, casual time together. I will post some photos of the guest room and the bed frame we made in the near future.

The New York Times recently ran an article called “Mom and Dad and All Their Baggage”. While we have the luxury of more living space than many New Yorkers, I think this article did a beautiful job of summing up visiting parents.

Here’s hoping you all have a relaxing and filling Thanksgiving Day. See you at the mall at 5am tomorrow!

November 21, 2007

Gardening on the cheap

First on the not-so-cheap spectrum, I broke down and hired a yard service or more like a yard man. For the past year a co-worker has talked of the wonderful ex-marine who does battle with her yard. After I suffered a huge defeat in leaf pick-up last fall and a complete degradation in back yard maintenance this summer, I signed up. I’ve never loved my yard as much as I have for the past month. Now when I look at my yard I see manageable projects to be tackled, not a horror story in the making.

On to the cheap! As you’ve all heard by now Atlanta and the south east is under a severe drought, to the point where we could actually run out of drinking water. Two recent additions to our yard center around these drought conditions.

bird bath

For $12 we bought a 16 inch terracota dish and used an old plant stand to create a fully functioning bird bath / back yard drinking spot for the local fauna. After exhaustive research, it seemed that even the ugliest, cheapest bird baths still cost $30, so this was a huge win. In the future I may even mosaic the surface of the dish, for extra decorative flair.

rain barrel

Do you know how expensive official rain barrels cost? I found they started around $50 for a “kit” and went up well over $100. As a first step in water collection we rigged up two, 32-gallon, $4 trash cans. We set them up by two primary downspouts on our house. When it starts to rain we run out and move the downspout hose into the trash can. The cans have lids to keep debris and bugs out of the collected water. Presto! Cheap and easy rainwater.

We will probably upgrade to a barrel system with an overflow feature, but for now we have plenty of water for yard projects and birdbaths, all for under ten bucks.

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