Friday, July 1, 2011


Gold Diggers of 1829 is almost really totally completely done!

I am not really updating this blog anymore, because I got a bad case of the toomanyblogs. Just thought I should do a quick update in case anyone is still reading only this one. So now I have an art portfolio blog where I just post stuff that would reasonably go into an art portfolio. When the movie is on the internet it will be posted there, maybe not here. I also have a new (not really new) personal blog, where I post all manner of things, including a little bit of the writing about art process stuff that I used to write on here.

So hopefully I will see you over there, or not see you since tumblr doesn't really have easy commenting system for non-tumblrers. But you can still read them and I will know.

Friday, October 29, 2010


As promised, I have a movie production update! We had some scenes that had to be re-shot because we didn't do a good enough job lighting the greenscreen when we shot them the first time. There were three scenes to reshoot: Barnaby's song, the Prospector's lollipop scenes, and a closeup of the Golden Retriever's paw. So it shouldn't have taken very long. In reality it took nine hours! I'm not sure why.

I actually had to work until noon on Saturday, the day of the reshoots. Channing was supposed to go to his office (we shot in his conference room to avoid cat interference) and set up before I got off work. He was also supposed to get a big lollipop before I met him at noon. Unfortunately he didn't do either of those things, but he did get a pizza so at least we didn't starve to death.

Anyway, one of the first things we did once we got all of our stuff inside was head out to get a big lollipop. I see them every time I go to walgreen's, so I thought it wouldn't be a big deal to find one again. But I guess they had to get rid of the big lollipops to make space for more mellowcreme pumpkins and candy corn, because they didn't have them anymore. We went to a few other candy stores in Chinatown, but none of them had big lollipops. This seemed like it took forever because it was rainy and I was getting upset. At one point I almost settled on using a popcorn ball instead, but I just couldn't do it. So we ended up calling five different candy stores and driving 20 minutes to the only one that had what we were looking for. It was in Berkeley and the guy working there was pretty awesome. He knew everything about every candy! So finally we had what we needed, but I still had to paint it with food coloring to get rid of the blue and green stripes, since those were the reason we had to reshoot the lollipop scenes to begin with.

I made two new outfits for Barnaby. The old one was a cute blue-green plaid vest, but some parts of the fabric were too close to the color of the greenscreen, so the old footage had gaping holes of background shining through Barnaby's fat little body. This is the same problem we had with the lollipop, in case you couldn't tell. So I made a new vest! We're using a bluescreen for the reshoots instead of a greenscreen, but I was still worried that the new vest had some flecks of green in it. So I made a simple orange bowtie as well. We liked it because it makes Barnaby seem like one of Fozzie Bear's fashion influences, but we liked the vest and hat better. So hopefully both will work and we can cut back and forth between the two in a magical fashion.

As you can see the bluescreen we used was kind of magical! It's a grey fabric that comes with a special blue light that you attach to the camera lens. We attached it with fishing wire, since we couldn't figure out how it was actually supposed to stay on. Anyway, the grey fabric is reflective, but it only reflects blue light (or magic, or something) so it appears to the camera to be blue. Pretty cool! Channing's work owns this system, and supposedly it eliminates the need to get all the wrinkles out of the screen before shooting. I hope it works!

So I hope we did a good enough job this time. I'm a little worried about difficulties keying out the 2-tone blue coat and wrinkles in it, but Channing assures me it will be fine.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Shamelessly Asking for Money!

Hey guess what! I am poor! Hooray! Just kidding, actually I just recently found out that I need some money to pay for my final semester of library school. Usually I have grants that pay for most of it, but since I'm part time next semester I won't qualify for those. And since there's a cap on the number of credits I can take I can't not be a part time student. So it's technically possible for me to pay for this entire semester with a credit card, but I really don't want to do that! So I figured out that if each of my facebook friends donates $11.05 it will pay for my semester! Here is a button:

You can help me! I can pay you back if you want, but not with interest, which is the only reason that would be better than using my credit card. And I can send you a variety of prizes and stuff from my house! Any amount is appreciated.

And by the way, I will have a movie update next week.

Monday, July 19, 2010


In case you are afraid of using PayPal, don't have a mailbox, and live in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Cross My Words and Hope to (Verb) zine is now available at several stores for your shopping convenience.

Issues in Oakland has an amazing array of magazines, including my zine!

Dog Eared Books in San Francisco has a tiny zine section, so mine should be relatively easy to find. They also have a large selection of new and used books.

More locations are coming soon, but if you're reading this you should probably just click below to buy a copy, so some strangers can purchase them from the store.

Oh, and I don't have any totally subjective reviews yet, but here's what some of the contributors are saying:

"I got the zine in the mail the other day, and I just wanted to say I think it's fantastic. It looks really well made (the binding is great). And of course the content is excellent as is the concept." - Keith Ecker

"How does it work? I didn't read the instructions yet." - Rachel Weiner

"The Zine is amazing!" - Jacqueline Suskin

"The brilliance of this zine is that it forces the owner’s hand from passive to active involvement. You can’t read the stories as they’re intended until you solve the crossword and fill in the blanks. And once that’s done, you can re-blank the blanks and get a friend to fill them in without context, perhaps while riding in the back of a car. This zine is an instant toolkit to becoming both an artist and a friend, two of the highest forms of collaboration ever conceived." - Channing Kennedy

Get a copy and let me know what you think!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Cross My Words and Hope to ____ (verb).

The Cross My Words and Hope to _____ (verb) Activity Zine is available now! Only $5+s/h. Here's how it works:

(Click to enlarge/read/understand.)

So for only $5, you get three short stories, six poems, five comic strips, one enormous crossword puzzle, and a lot of mad libs and colorable drawings.

The stories, poems, comics, and illustrations are all amazing. Contributors include
Keith Ecker
Channing Kennedy
Jessica James Lansdon
Gregg Lewis
Lauralee Sparling
Jacqueline Suskin
Allen Talbert
Rachel Weiner
and me!

Click below to order your copy! Heck, you probably need to order lots of copies for all of your word-game-loving friends!

Or, if you see me in person sometimes, just give me $5 and I will give you a zine in exchange. But be sure to let me know you want one so I will have it ready!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Things are happening!

Zine things:
My crossword zine is coming together. I have to think up like 10 more clues (which means I already thought up about 300), make someone solve the puzzle for proofreading purposes, work on some layouts, make copies, and it will be done! I even wrote my letter from the editor part today. Maybe I will finish it by the weekend IF the contributors will all send me their bios.

Movie things:
Robin is working on my movie! We met up last weekend and she showed us what she'd done so far, and it was great! She did stuff!

I am also doing stuff! I went to the park and took photos of the town. Here's what it looks like sort of:

Realistic, huh? I made Jessica come with me to protect me from being run over by joggers and cyclists and baseball players while I crouched on the ground in the middle of a dirt patch. She did a good job. I did not get run over by anything.

I am also working on animating the audience for the vaudeville show that happens within the movie. Here is a preview of what a few of them look like:

The audience was drawn by HARVEY JAMES™ who is super cool and good at drawing! He's also taking commissions right now starting at just $6, which is really cheap! Go here! Give him some money! It will be well-spent, I assure you.

Animating the audience, however, is up to me. We tried filming them puppet-style, by attaching strings to paper cutouts, but the lighting was terrible and the cutouts wouldn't stay right-side-round, so it was a total mess. In fact, it's still a total mess in one of my drawers, where all of the cutouts are knotted up in a big pile. So I decided to try doing the animation digitally, which I'm kind of excited about, because I've never done such a thing, but also kind of nervous that it will be really tedious and hard. However, I am up for that kind of challenge. At least it's not confusing, tedious, and hard.

And then in a week or so you (if you somehow managed not to be a contributor) can give ME money when you purchase my zine! And in another 5 years (completely random estimate) you can give me money again when you purchase tickets to see my movie at a movie theater! Hooray!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I am actually not a great singer, despite the implications of this post.

We finally hired someone to work on editing my movie! Channing just did not have time to work on it, as I may have mentioned in every post for the past year. I had been suggesting hiring someone for a few months, but he kept promising that he would just buckle down and work on it. Clearly it wasn't happening. So now our friend Robin Griswold, who is a recent film school graduate, is tackling the project. I hope she doesn't go insane from listening to me singing too much. Not that you will, when you eventually watch the movie, because I obviously have a lovely singing voice. But editing is terrible and annoying, no matter how classically trained and perfect the voices on the soundtrack are. It is this attitude, combined with my inability to teach myself complicated greenscreen compositing, that has prevented me from editing the movie myself.

In the meantime, I am working on a crossword/story/coloring/mad lib zine. I've received quite a few lovely submissions from various writers and drawers. Now I'm working on formatting everything and adding more illustrations. I might also try to think of a title that's more concise than crossword/story/coloring/mad lib zine. Thinking of titles is always difficult for me.

I'm also doing boring projects around the house, like sewing bags to contain my hand-washable laundry and our stash of plastic shopping bags. Once the shopping bags are corralled, we can fit a mini-compost bin under the sink so we can actually compost a bit more regularly.

I also finally got a zipper foot for my sewing machine, so I'm going to be attempting to make some dresses soon! Hooray for things that don't have buttons or drawstrings!