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December 6th, 2018 - January 1st, 2019 // Favorite Things

As we start the new year, I wanted to quickly look back and share some of my favorite finds of 2018 - some of these are artworks, some are tools, some are just things I liked. A few of these are not necessarily new in 2018, just new to me. Enjoy!

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These Jörmungandr studs by While Odin Sleeps. I'm obsessed, as is everyone around me when I wear them. Anything Lauren makes is gorgeous; I can't wait to add more to my collection.

I took a lot of inspiration from Florance and the Machines "Big God" video this year, directed by ever creative Autumn de Wilde. Choreographed by Akram Khan and Florence Welch. The color of those veils is just perfect. I can't look away.

These pencils. I have these stashed throughout my home, studio, and backpack. I even found one I accidentally buried in my garden a few months ago. What I love about them is how simple they are to keep around, and the red/blue gives me just enough options to sketch out ideas and use the contrast to note essential details I want to come back to. They force you to quickly get the idea down and move on. I can't live without them.

My friend Ellen decided to teach herself how to fix up her father's old moto some years ago, and after that project finished she decided to tackle another sentimental vehicle, and this time she's documenting the process via her blog as well as her Instagram. It was a joy to watch her finish the moto, so I can't recommend following her new adventure enough.

This summer I was lucky enough to attend the Ayatana Artist Research Residency, where we made our own bat detectors. And I am obsessed! This little thing is so much fun. I had no idea so many bats lived around me, even in the middle of the city. (Linked is a recommended bat detector, as you can't buy the ones we made.)

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My new friend, Clare Celeste Börsch made a collage installation this year that has inspired me greatly. Titled "The Mushroom Hunters" it's just ... dreamy. I want to live in it. And I can't wait to see what she gets up to in the new year.

I'm not a fancy candle person, but when I came across the Illume Woodfire candle, I had to pick it up. Many years ago my husband was constantly overseas (ahem, five and a half deployments in six years) but he was able to get his hands on this body wash over there that smelled exactly like this, and I adored it.

When he finally left the military, that was it, as we couldn't find anything like it. So when I walked by this candle display my nose immediately took me back to a time in my early twenties where I would soak in his scent and be so thankful he was home.

THIS MUG. So my friends Oda and Kit gifted me this mug by artist Angela White-Wenger, and I simply adore it. With what I can only assume is magic, Angela is using real webs to make them, and I just keep looking at it and admiring it. And it's made all the better by the surprise gift from my friends.

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And last, but certainly not least; meet my new little friend Isla Joy! Her mother and I have been close friends for most of our lives, and it's been a joy to watch my childhood friend become a mother and oh my goodness look at the perfect little human she grew from scratch! I can't wait to watch Isla grow up and, yet again, be the weird aunt who teaches her how to cuss like a lady.

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June 22nd, 2018 - July 2nd, 2018 // 31st Birthday Self-Portrait

For the last five years or so, I have made a self-portrait around my birthday, however this year I wasn't entirely sure I would be able to fit it in. The last week of my 30th year felt like an entire month's worth of ups and downs and running around. So taking an afternoon mid-week to pull this together felt a bit selfish and as if I didn't have my priorities in order; I had to keep reminding myself that when I feel overwhelmed, it is the right time to stop and make something because making is essential to my well-being. 

In this case, I had decided earlier this month to make myself a pink Rococo wig, for no other reason than earlier this year I made a big fluffy Marie Antoinette inspired wig for another project and really struggled with that process, so I wanted another shot at it to put into practice everything I had learned. 

My first wig was part of a personal project series named Commoditize, which I suspect I'll be posting more about when I wrap up the final image and write an overview of the entire series. Until then, you can view the wig here. 

That wig took me months, and a docked me a few ego points. This wig took me a day and recouped a few of those ego points. I don't plan on making another pompadour style wig, but it's nice to know that I have that in my bag of tricks now. 

While I was planning on semi-cosplaying as an 18th French Queen, I still wanted something that was defining of myself. So I designed the wig using some recycled silk-flowers found at Seattle ReCreative, because, could it be a portrait of me without flowers? The answer is no.  

Making the image was simple; I just set up my Oliphant backdrop (one of my favorite possessions ever) near my north facing window, set up my tripod and spent the afternoon experimenting with different poses. 

I wasn't expecting to really love the resulting image as much as I do. It may become my new bio photo. 

-MJ 

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February 18th, 2017 - July 15th, 2017 // A Door I Can Shut

For the last couple years, I've been sketching big ideas in a tiny apartment. I've never been afraid of tackling these big ideas, but what's kept me from them -- is just the lack of space. 

Backstory: Mr. J and I moved into our previous home on a whim of luck and ambition. It was in one of the most charming neighborhoods in Seattle and walkable to everything. 

It was, however, intended to be a short term thing because the apartment itself was small - like, less than 300sqft small. We didn't think we would be there very long and decided to roll with it until we could find another reasonable place to land. 

Except we ended up loving it, so we stayed there for two years. 

This made working within that space ... interesting. 

I photographed "SHE" with the model within arms-reach of our kitchen to her left and our bathroom to the right. 

I finished "Warmth" there as well as photographed and collaged together various works, keeping an ugly, beat up v-flat stored against the wall at all times to pull out to photograph flowers, etc. on. 

I signed and framed the smaller prints on a 4'x4' table that doubled as my desk and our kitchen table. (I would have to borrow space from friend's for my larger prints because I just didn't have the surface area to handle them safely.)

So the lack of space obviously was a challenge with my work, but nothing I couldn't tackle. 

However, at the start of this year, things changed. 

I don't share much about Mr. J because he prefers to keep his life private. But I will share that his job situation changed for the better, and as such, he also needed a bit more access to storage space at home. 

So between the two of us and an elderly dog that is rapidly losing his eyesight, moving became priority #1. Hence the large gap in between journal entries. 

Moving is not an easy task in Seattle. In fact, we didn't even start looking at places here and instead started looking at options in other cities outside of the state. But alas, we eventually found a gem, in which my work space has quadrupled. 

I even have a decent mini-studio, with a god-damn-door. A door I can shut. I can close the door when I am done with the day instead of having to clean up immediately. Pure. Victory. 

I have the space to tackle those big ideas now. And I intend on it. 


Other news, "Warmth" was awarded the bronze by the Moscow International Foto Awards in the Fine Art - Collage category. 

It's an honor to have my work be recognized as one of the best among my peers. And it makes me excited to make even more art and pursue these big ideas to the best of my ability. My gratitude to the jury and the MIFA organization for the support. 

-MJ 

A poorly crafted iPhone panorama of my new workspace, unpacking in progress. 

A poorly crafted iPhone panorama of my new workspace, unpacking in progress. 

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July 2nd, 2017 // 30th Birthday!

So many things to share. 

Here's the rough overview: I started a big project that I can't (shouldn't) be talking about just yet, Mr. Goulet and I moved in a dream of a new apartment, so I now have an appropriate office/mini studio, oh and I won an award -- yadda yadda. There is more, but I'm going to cover all that in a proper journal entry later. 

For the last handful of years, I've made time to take a self-portrait for my birthday. I'm not entirely sure what my goal of this project is, other than a trip around the sun feels like a good enough time to do so. 

This year, I decided to check off something I have had on my bucket list for some years now; make a room into a camera obscura. Here is a link explaining for those unfamiliar. 

So, my bedroom is essentially a large camera right now, and I love it. And since I'm an overachiever, I wanted to see if I could use it as a light source for a portrait. 

For the photograph, I decided not to fight the inevitable blur that comes with a longer exposure, and instead play with it, which in hindsight feels fitting because this is a pretty good representation of how the last few weeks have felt. (More on that in another post.) 

So anyway, I'm thirty. That's what my current face looks like after three decades. Huzzah.

Camera Obscura install shot

Camera Obscura install shot

Tin foil with a hole punch = Apperature 

Tin foil with a hole punch = Apperature