Friday, May 14, 2010

Long awaited house tour: room 1

These are the little parts of my home that make me the most happy. It has been a long hard struggle over the last few years, but I am here and loving it.

Gold Frame Wall: Photos of my family, hung salon style, in gold thrift store frames. This will be a life-long work in progress as I find more pictures and frames.
Bedding: Cover I made to match the Deer pillow Sarah made me. Which then led to new sheets to match that....this is how I am, what can I say?!
Painted Suitcase by Anthony: On the back there are 2 little pen hearts drawn by whatever kid once owned this thrift store find. Anthony never liked this piece, so I figured taking it when he moved out was ok. I love it.

Rib Cage by Sarah: This was to match my room when it was solely orange and lime. A gift from my best friend on my 27th birthday.
Pabst Sign: Another gift from my 27th birthday; this one from Ray. I love the gold and the font.
Tina Anderson art: The most I have ever spent on art, and I have never regretted buying it. I love the colors, the strokes, the feeling it give me when I look at it and wish I was her.
Type Box: Since I saw Sarah's filled with randomness, I wanted my own. It is full of little things, memories and inside jokes. I always think I will take things out and put new things in, but I never do. I can never decide what should come out.
Books: That i either like, like the look of, or like the idea of.
Cameras: My first camera, a Miranda 35mm bought in high school and broke (yet to be fixed) in college. My Polaroid Land Camera which is one of my favorite cameras.
Mix Tape: Made for me when I as 19 or 20 by a boy friend. It was my first real hip hop music and I keep it around even though it no longer plays because I like the memory of it.
Photos: My low rider bike after it was put back together after its new paint job. One of my favorite days ever. My mom when she was a baby.
Art: A type/Polaroid piece I did about a year and a half ago when I found myself in a new, totally different relationship. It is one of my favorite things I have written.

Dresser: I found this on the side of the road between my house and my folk's. It had been left, mid renovation with a sign that said "free". At first I only found a few of its handles, but mid paint I found the rest under one of the drawers. I plan to have this dresser forever.

Radio: My dad was finally dumping it after years of use. I remember it in every garage we lived in. It doesn't work well, so I have stopped using it, but I love looking at it. The wood casing, knowing it has been in our lives for so long.
Polaroids: Some of my favorite, most featured in my zines.
Button Box: When I was a kid in New Zealand, my grandma would let me play with her button box when I would visit. I would organize them by color, shape, ones I liked. I was OCD about order at an early age it turns out. She gave it to me a few years before she died. I still dig through it sometimes and picture sitting on her hallway floor. The way it smelt there, how the carpet felt.
Old photos: Here I have multiple pictures of my grandpa when he was young. Such classic photos.
Zines: My slowly growing zine collection. I don't have a ton but I love each one.
Tomato Jar: This was my grandma's. I remember where it sat in each of her houses. It now holds 2 rose picture nails that I have yet to use because they must hold the most perfect picture frames and I have not found such to suit yet.
Cats: These 2 ceramic cats sat next to my grandma's front door for as long as I can remember. I hauled them all the way from NZ terrified of breaking them. My room is themed around them, the color. The glass case's sole purpose for being in my room is to hold them safely. They are one of my most prized possession.
More Cameras: 2 more Polaroid cameras. I seem to collect them. But I do use each one so that makes it a healthy habit.
Old Reader's Digest Books: Anthony was using them for art at one point so we started collecting them. I just love the colors and the type so I keep them in different places in the house.

RECORDS: Yes, that was supposed to be in all caps. I love my records. Each one has a memory attached to it. A time I listen to it. A purpose. Lately I listen to "Harvest" by Neil Young for multiple occasions; art making, rainy nights, sad nights, pretty much always.
More Poppa Pictures: One of him in the army. This same picture always sat, framed, on top my grandparents TV. And one of him as a kid in a gold frame.
Polaroids by Sarah: She sent me these photos of the farm she live on in Oregon. Now that she lives in the same town as me, I put more value on the things she use to send when she did not.
Wooden Mushroom Magnet: This was also my Nana's. It sat on here fridge back in NZ. It always caught my eye when I was younger.

On a Wire: This is where I hang things I want to look at or remember. It always seems to have a theme ranging from "family" to "pretty things" to its current theme of the art made with feelings that I want to remember having.

Well, I hope you enjoyed room one. More to come, slowly.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

self interview

i am sitting in my room, listening to music i shouldn't be listening to, putting copies of my newest zine together. all the while wondering what i am doing, how i feel about what i am doing, and blah blah blah. in the fashion of one of my favorite zines by Kaitlin i decided to interview myself. the topic: my newest zine... here we go

whats the new zine called?
-its called 1000

which means...?
-basically its a play off the saying "a picture is worth 1000 words". my favorite pictures, when i look at them, overwhelm me with thoughts, thousands of words, feelings, it becomes this cluster of emotion. some better left in the suitcase of which they live.

so this is your second zine, how do you feel about it in comparison to your first?
-reading it now, its a lot like the first, people may be bored reading it, thinking "ugg shes not over it yet", but its not for people, its for me. its some of my favorite pictures that i have taken and a small piece of what they mean to me, what they remind me of, why i love them. i have a real bad memory and one day i think i will forget all my memories. so i write cliche things on them that will always remind me of why they were once important. i hope one day they will still make me feel how they do today.

so does that mean you like this one better than the last?
-right now i hate it, i'm sick of reading it, i don't want to send them out. but i did that last time too; in a month i will pick it up and love it. overall i am proud, i think its better than the last, and it give me hope that the next one will be even better.

a lot of the photos seem to be about love. why does that seem to be a theme?
-i guess it is. i guess its because of where i am now. alone, and learning to be ok with it. that i wont let myself be with someone until i am ok with being alone. my mind tricks me often with love, well the idea of it. i have been there before, what i thought to be many times, turns out it was only once or twice. i worry that i convince myself i feel things that it turns out i don't. some of the pages are about feelings that i never thought could exist. i wrote a few to remind me that i really did feel those ways and that the situation was real.
recently i got as close to love as i thought possible, and then it was gone. i don't want to lose hope that i will find someone to love that much again, but i'm honestly not very hopeful right now. so instead of looking, instead of crying all the time, i work, i work really hard at the rest of my life. you may say i try to stay distracted, i have been told i am a work-aholic, but i don't think either are bad things to be. i just have to wait it out. one day i will stop feeling empty and have the feelings in those pages again.

so the boy(s) in the zine...?
-one i would just sum up as complicated. it was a few years of intensity; so much intensity that i don't think we let ourselves enjoy so much of it. now that it is over i have a hard time understanding what it really was, and what it is that i miss. after it was over, i always meant to try to have him in my life, but i never did try, it just went away. i still care about him, i miss him, but it is so clouded now that its just a bunch of random memories and not much feeling.
the other is the opposite. it was intense in my mind, but overall it was so laid back and easy that it made me freak out. i made things bigger than they were, i think i was just use to there being an issue, drama, that i couldn't just let it be amazing. there are parts of him that i know i will never find again and it scares me. i have the reasons i tell myself it didn't work out, but it comes down to either me screwing it up or him not wanting me like i did him. i go back and forth daily on which is true. if i never have him again, it was worth the things i learnt. it is a bunch of amazing memories of times spent doing nothing and feelings that i don't see ever fading.

the other theme seems to be death, is this something you fear?
-i don't think i fear it, maybe it makes me a little anxious, but i know it happens to us all. i worry a lot about not being finished in time, not saying what i need to say, doing what i want to do. i have had a few friends leave without me saying what i needed. its a hard thing to live with, but i know everyone has the same stories as i do.
the picture of the baseball field; she wasn't there, but it was a time when she was in my life. there are a lot of pictures and memories that remind me of her just because of the time in my life it was. i miss her a lot, i miss those days a lot, but i always seem to miss something.
overall i think i fear other peoples death more than my own. i fear my dog dying and hating myself for not spending enough time making his life great. i fear my parents dying and me regretting not being nicer to them. i fear the boy i love dying and never getting to hug him again. for me, i guess if i go i go, so i try to live a life i want so i wont regret it.

the last page, the one about reno, seems sort of out of place, thrown in there. how do you feel about it?
-i put it in, took it out, rewrote it, lather, rinse, repeat... reading it now it had to be there. reno is huge part of me right now, it means a lot to me. i feel the last page ties the whole thing back together. it started and ended here. it has made me who i am, it made me a photographer.

but i thought you say you are not a photographer in the zine?
-i just like pictures. i like cliche words. i like them together. i like my stuff and how it makes me feel inside. how it can make me sit here and cry, when i haven't been able to for months. photos, art, whatever, it is my sanity.

"the days that make me" had a pretty touching dedication. why is there no dedication on this one?
-there doesn't need to be; the person its for knows its for them.

so overall, how do you feel about it?
-i feel good. i think it is important for where i am right now, how i am feeling. i feel it gives me hope and inspiration to move onto whatever my next project is.

any idea of what the next one will be about?
-i have notes that i have written twice without realizing it, about "love" and my history with it. also i want to write about songs that remind me of specific moments in my life. the ones that you hear and you picture exactly where you were and what you were doing. but i don't know, we will see.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

oh zines

I spent the other evening with Sarah listening to all her amazing ideas and what she is currently working on. Always inspiring. It got me really pumped up on my second zine. I have been thinking about it since last summer when I finished zine #1, but keep putting it off. I don't know if it is the lake of time to think lately or the fear of writing another one. Putting all my feelings out there, again, still scary. But after Sarah left I found myself in bed, polaroids sprawled on the bed, writing up a storm. So here goes nothing, again. All my favorite photos, about all my favorite moments, to document them so in 50 years I will remember exactly those feelings.
Stay tuned....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My A to Z about me, for Swap Bot

A - Amber (hey that's me!) and Art, a big part of my life.
B - Bikes, I am in a bicycle gang with my girlfriends. I also have done this local 24 hour bike race/scavenger hunt the last 2 years. This year we got about 7th place out of almost 40 teams.

C - craft, i am a fan of crafting, combining craft with art.
D -Diana F+ camera, my newest camera, modeled after a toy camera in the 70s, it takes great photos, even though I still haven't figured it out completely yet, I still love working with it.

E - Ephemera, I love collecting scraps and bits.
F - Fate, I have decided all things happen how they are going to and you can't do anything to change that. So I like to roll with the punches.
G - Gutry, my last name, a Maori name. I was born in New Zealand and have a small amount of Maori blood.
H - Home, I bought my first 2 years ago on my own and I love ever second I spend there.

I - Instant film, I love my polaroid cameras, all of them. I went to school for photography and now mostly use just instant film.

J -Junk, I like to collect things, some say "junk", I say treasures!
K - Keitzke, my new long haired Chi Chi pup. I hit her when she ran into the middle of the road and then adopted her after no one claimed her at the pound.
L - Letters, I love receiving and writing letters.
M - Mixtapes, I like to make mixtapes, I have been working on an A-Z themed mixtape collection for the last few years. Each has a different theme and I only make about 10 for my closest friends.
N -Nevada, Reno, Nevada, I love living here.
O - Orange, and Lime, one of my favorite color combinations. My room is decorated in those colors around 2 ceramic orange Siamese cats that were my grandmothers.
P - Piano, I am learning to play, and I am so in love with it. The most beautiful thing.
Q - Quitting, I am not a fan of it.
R - Rukus, my staffy terrier who I love more than anything. He has been the one constant in my life over the last 8 years when everything else has changed.

S - Small Brown Bike, my favorite band.
T - Typewriters, I have a little collection of them, ones that work and ones that don't.
U - Umbrellas, I am not a fan of actual umbrellas but I love the imagery. Mostly because we do not need them in Reno, we don't get much rain, but when we do I listen to records and lay on my floor.
V - Vintage, I love all things vintage. My house is decorated in a combination of vintage and Ikea.
W - Waihiki Island, the island in New Zealand I grew up on. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen and I love visiting.
X -Xoxo, I just like how it looks.
Y - You, I just like the word "you" and "yours"
Z - Zine, I wrote my first this year, and it was nerve recking putting myself out there so much.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


There are these birds (pigeons) who are always on the power lines on my corner. Everytime I drive past i want to take pictures of them but never do. So this last weekend, on a lovely overcast day, Todd and Rukus and I walked over so I could take the pictures. Todd asks "which camera are you taking?". HA he doesn't know me at all. My answer was obviously "umm 3 of them". DUH!

Not sure which is my favorite. Well, I do, but they are polaroids that need scanning...
I love overcast photos!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Did that really happen?

Its really crazy to think that I closed Never Ender 2 years ago this week. When I look back at it, it seems like it really never happened. Then I find the photos today while setting up my new computer. They make it all real, documented proof. And I stumble upon images of art I made and must have sold, since I don't have it now. Pieces I don't even remember making, or that I don't remember what they look like close up. I remember those first months, no walls at the opening, no bathroom for months, no heat, no floor. And me, only 22, no clue what I was doing when I look back at it. I just can not believe I actually did it. And it did well. I miss so many things about those 3 years and I regret so many things. But overall it taught me a lot and it pushed me to my breaking point from which I decided to start over and rebuild myself. I just can't believe it was real sometimes.