Tag Archives: smoke

I’m OK with the Events That Are Unfolding Currently

smoke detector_edited-1

This is not me and this is not my problem. Because I’m smart. I took all the batteries out. 

Smoke detectors save lives. But also, I have never had my life saved by a smoke detector and have never set one off doing anything other than ordinary cooking, and eggplant seems to be the worst culprit. For a long time, I only fried in olive oil, which has a low smoke point and is not recommended for frying, but it still happens with coconut oil. And if there’s one thing you want to do while you’re frying massive quantities of food at high temperatures, it’s walk away from the stove and spend 5 minutes trying to shut off a wailing alarm hung several feet above your head.

We had a super-hilarious experience last spring at my brother’s for Passover. My sister-in-law is a nurse who works 12-hour overnight shifts 3 days a week, so her sleeping schedule is both wonky and important. Preparing for the holiday, my mom was frying eggplant one morning, several hours after my sister-in-law had returned from work and finally gotten to sleep around 9 a.m or something. Of course, the smoke alarm goes off. And then a second. And then a third. My sister-in-law is a really sound sleeper, but the ceilings in that place are wonderfully high, and we could find no ladders. Standing on a chair, The Man could not reach the ceiling to silence any of the devices. We opened all the doors and windows but all 3 of these things were wailing for what felt like 30 minutes. I didn’t time it. But it was a while. My sister-in-law was very confused when she finally woke up.

But, safety first, kids!

I like the look of dawning realization on the girl’s face in panel 3. And I think I got mild confusion down pretty well in panel 2. I can be taught.

The Breezeway Part 2

Winter 2013. I had the idea for the bird first and found the Maya Angelou quote after I did the image.

Winter 2013. I had the idea for the bird first and found the Maya Angelou quote after I did the image.

For the last four or five years, this bulletin board has been my baby. While the wind has, on more than one occasion, ripped my work from the wall, while a PTA mom has, on more than one occasion, tried to hijack my real estate with badly rendered licensed characters, this space, where I create ephemeral works of art for children, is regarded as mine, and most staff and students seem interested in seeing what comes next.

Winter 2011, One of my favorites. The poem is by a local poet called Ofelia Zepeda. At the time, my husband worked at the same university where she teaches and, unbeknownst to me, forwarded her this image! She wrote back that she found it beautiful. I was a little embarrassed, but 2 years later when I happened to meet Ofelia Zepeda at the Tucson Festival of Books, I was glad to have a funny story to share with her.

Winter 2011, One of my favorites. The poem is by a local poet called Ofelia Zepeda. At the time, my husband worked at the same university where she teaches and, unbeknownst to me, forwarded her this image! She wrote back that she found it beautiful. I was a little embarrassed, but 2 years later when I happened to meet Ofelia Zepeda at the Tucson Festival of Books, I was glad to have a funny story to share with her.

I work almost entirely in cut colored paper, either the butcher type paper that comes in a long roll, or sturdy sheets of construction paper, using rubber cement and staples. Periodically, the work requires other elements (paint pens, string), but generally it’s just the paper, the glue, and the staples. Since these murals are exposed to the elements, the colors fade quickly and need replacement every six or eight weeks. All the letters are hand-drawn and hand-cut. Some of the fonts come from books, others from my own mind. Most bulletin boards take around six or eight hours to complete. The most complicated one (the Tohono O’odham Man in the Maze) took about fourteen hours.

Winter 2014, the Tohono O'odham Man in the Maze

Winter 2014, the Tohono O’odham Man in the Maze