So thrilled! Thank you to our good friends at Daily Grommet for making this happen! And thank you for Nikki Carter for providing me with her copy, I couldn't find a single one in town. And another thank you to Nikki for including our dear Birdies in her local New Orleans holiday gift picks!
Also so excited to be included in treehugger's holiday gift guide for animal lover's! Love this line from the writeup: "Swap the novelty bar for BirdProject Soap's black and white birds with a story." Birds with a story, makes me happy to hear that.
In other news, I have been busy re-making both soap and ceramic molds and I'm so happy to now be working with the amazing Brooke Cassady, she is making the ceramic birdies in her lovely St. Claude studio.
Check out the ceiling in Brooke's studio, isn't it lovely! They are barge boards - each color is from a different ship. I love you New Orleans!
Also thrilled to now be working in the civic center space in the Bywater, it is such a treat to be surrounded by such talented people & to share such a lovely space. New Orleans really feels like a special place at a special time, I’ve been reminded of how I felt when I first moved here [two years ago] lately. Like I’d bumped into Hemingway in Paris or Basquiat in New York in their glowing eras. For me, it’s an inspiring blend of social entrepreneurship, the many passionate and talented people, the enjoyment of life and good work, the magic city. I feel so lucky to have found the people and things that I have found here.
Signing off to work on some items for a fellowship application, hope that you are well & had a lovely Thanksgiving! That reminds me, ps - I am now the proud owner of a picnic table, which is where my roommate Shoshana & I hosted Thanksgiving. It sits under a banana tree, which is also a real treat. My dear friend Alex helped me pick up the table from Lowe's & assemble it in the backyard. This $80 purchase made me feel like I had reached some new level of adulthood but at the same time feel giddy like a small child souped up on candy & ice cream. It's really the little things, I suppose.
And check out this pie that Shoshana made! Apple + Heath bar streusel, YUM.
xo's from New Orleans!
The birdies are on page 13 of April's issue of Coastal Living! Very exciting!! I love the photo, is a thrill to see them in print, and this certainly also helped the birdies fly to new places, thank you so much for all of the wonderful interest and for bringing birdies to land at your home!
Also, the birdies have found a new nest on Etsy, I'm totally thrilled about that and am enjoying learning about the Etsy community and seeing all of the beautiful goods for sale! Am excited to see so many wonderful natural and handmade things, now I know where to shop! Also, BirdProject is now a member of Etsy Nola, who just put up a post about the birdies, thank you! And in Nola you can also now find the birdies at Longue View House & Garden Shop!
Busy-ness! The past few weeks have been sooo busy, let's go ahead and make that the past 6 months haha! Still working to get the new slipcasting molds right w/ Nick over at New Orleans Tile, I am so grateful for his expertise. My mom has come for a visit this week and is helping me pack birdies, make deliveries around town, birdmaking etc. aaaand make me eat regular meals, get a haircut, ha some of the things that just fall by the wayside when you're such a busy bird! We've had a few yummy breaks at the Creole Creamery, St. James Cheese Shop, & Elizabeth's today, lawdy - soooo good! Dropped off another batch of ceramic birds at the amazing Emily's to be soaped, I feel so lucky to have found her and am so thrilled to be working with her on this! : ]
Soon upcoming is the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Spill, it's incredible a whole year has passed. It's also incredible how much more there is to do in the Gulf and how much is still unknown or yet undetermined. I hope that with the anniversary the attention brought will help spotlight the things in need and show that this is far from resolved.
More coming soon..
Saturday evening the Birdies were part of an opening at The Front! The show is up through mid April so stop on by if you can. It was a lovely evening and great to get out and see people, seems I've been in birdland a lot lately! I've also started a new BirdBuilder materials sponsorship on the website and received the great news of a sponsorship which will build a lot of new nests [boxes & packaging] for this next flock of 1000! What an amazing help-thank you anonymous for now BirdBuilder!! I will create a sponsors page on the site and am open to your suggestions on rewards for sponsors, please let me know what you think!
Last week was Mardi Gras, which was my first experience with it, I actually took the day off on Mardi Gras day and wandered around the Marigny, totally loved it. It was a delightful mix of skeletons on bikes with a rubber chicken, a QTip queen, monkeys on banana bicycles, and pirates shooting beads from cannons. I know now how to be ready for next year and enjoy! After weeks of parades on St. Charles I grew really accustomed to the rumble of coolers and shoulders-full of beads clickety clacking by. It proved really interesting and I think gave testimony to skills learned while living in NYC, to be able to focus and work amidst the most hardcore revelry I've seen. There were crawfish boils next door, one of the biggest parties I've ever heard - I felt like it was in my house! But I was able to keep on plugging away, haha, felt pretty ridiculous at times. Next year I'll be ready, I'm already planning my cloud/medusa snake head costume : ] After a few days of quiet in the neighborhood, St. Patty's day parade appeared on Saturday morning, but I was already used to feeling like a part of the parades whilst working steadily in my workroom! I did play some Dick Dale as a force field of focus to combat the Lynard Skynard, top o' the mornin' to yas, and MC Hammer building pretty high volumes at 10 am.
The recent press in Huffington Post, MTV Act Blog, and burdr has brought some more interest for the birdies, last week I sent several orders to New Zealand and Australia! One member of this southern hemisphere flock will be part of an auction to help Christchurch quake victims, which I'm honored for, I'll post more info as that comes along.
I'm finding it difficult to focus on anything other than making birds since Friday with the huge earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan. They are truly soothing to make and allows your mind to wander in a healing trail of thoughts. So many killed, danger of nuclear explosions, Japan's coast shifting 8', the earth's axis altered, cities that now look disturbingly like gutters, scale and normal relationships between objects shifted by the strength of water, and so many survivors in great need. I have far too many tabs and windows open on my poor overworked computer, most of them on the earthquake and tsunami. Reading stories of the survivors in smaller towns, many elderly and the realities of their needs slowing down the expected rescue process. It seems that in emergency city planning they rely on the best case scenario instead of the worst case scenario. I wasn't here for Katrina, but have read and listened to many people's accounts of how the realities of people's needs vary so much from what is planned for. Will it take Japan five and counting years to recover?
If you are looking for places to contribute for disaster-relief efforts in Japan, I do have a couple recommendations: Architecture for humanity for rebuilding, a list on GOOD magazine, and a local effort via a poster design contest to build support for relief, http://tsunamiofsupport.org/. Thank you to those that are responding to the intense need for help in Japan, I have you in my thoughts and am sending positive vibes of strength and hope.
ps - If you're in the mood for a happy ending, last night I watched a great movie while making birds - Desk Set, for me it's up there with 'It Happened One Night' and it's on Netflix watch instant.
Birdies at The Front
Spring it is-a-springin! Today's breezes smell like green tea & hibiscus!
Brown box of bisqued birds bask and await glazing to bake again : ]
Mardi gras in the marigny : ]
i love his heartfelt expression, this is after some religious hate group stormed through the FQ.
St. Charles after, this was Saturday morning - so pre - actual Mardi Gras!
Watchoo talkin' about Willis? This is a new 'game' at the deli, or rather 'who dat' mart down the street - isn't this riciculous? I went in yesterday & was kind of blown away by the blatant lure and non-win-win situation.
Happy Valentine's day or as I read earlier this morning on TBD - Generosity Day!! I had already planned to give the donation today from the first flock of birds to Gulf Restoration Network & IBRRC in the spirit of loving appreciation and then the post by TBD sweetened it!
Just made a donation of $1600 on behalf of BirdProject to GRN & IBRRC - thank you and many kisses to you BirdProject backers and supporters!!
Aaaaaand, while I was making the donation to IBRRC -'bird is the word' came on the radio, a colinkadink or what?!! How exciting and now, really for that Dixie!! Cheers and thank you : ]
I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday! This post will need to play some catch up! December, Looking back at 2010, and Year Ahead -
What a whirlwind! As the pieces came together it was a wonderful exercise of organizing the parts to become a whole ready to fly out into the world. Looking back on it, it's quite amazing that they came together right before the holidays! Coordinating ceramics [creating ceramic birds, firing, glazing, firing] transporting to emily for soap-making, packaging [did a packaging beak and tip of tail padding test on my birdie, wrapped a couple of times was ok], shipping [wow! a whole job in itself - i was a box scavenger, they were like gold, got them from whole foods, walgreens, neighbors, office depot, ha - developed eye scanners for small cardboard boxes], project blog posting took a backseat for a bit as I am a one woman show at this point..thus the lapse in posts. The ceramics proved to be the most time consuming part of the puzzle, the press molds work wonderfully but simply take time and moving into larger scale will need to switch to slipcasting molds pronto! Before the holidays, I shipped birdies and bags and washcloths and haiku postcards to more than half of the kickstarter backers [thank you amazing backers!!], a firm in Seoul, South Korea ordered some as gifts to their clients for New Year's, Reserve-A-Bird giftcards, and I brought a few to the eco design shop Spruce - I brought them 10 and they sold seven in the first evening, wow! Spruce also sold Reserve-A-Bird giftcards and started a waiting list as well! I hope this wonderful response to BirdProject continues, thank you all for supporting the project and for helping to raise awareness about the BP oil spill disaster.
Looking back at 2010:
Who knew? : ] As I quickly packed my bags to head to mom's for the holidays, having taken my last beetle full of packages, stuffed in like clowns in the old vw ads, to send off into the world from the post office, oh how I wish I could send them piggyback via carrier pigeon!.. I sat slightly hallucinating, ha! from being a birdbot for weeks and weeks, lack of rest and odd, quickly prepared meals - all gratifyingly so, not whining a bit, i loved this entire process - so I sat my beloved worktable [portable sawhorses & a piece of plywood, yes!] surrounded by BirdProject goods and in my new home of three months and thought... holy shit a lot has happened, it's like years packed into less than a half of a year, it has been so dense.
Looking back at the path behind me, and at the past few months - it's amazing what can happen when you have the time and energy to put behind something. I think I'd been looking for this Something for a while, I had grown disinterested in making things for the sole sake of making them, I thought too much about them sitting in the landfill afterwards. I was looking for something that was worthy of development, something that.. well, mattered, sorry for the company pun. When working on something no matter [really, again? : ] what it is, you pour your heart and soul and time into it and I wanted that Something to be something that I really cared about spending that precious time on and heartfelt energy into. When this idea came, I knew it was IT and it had to happen fast because of the urgency of the oil spill.
Looking back I can see the bits and parts of my life that have given me the experience to work on this project and that is a very tranquil moment to sit with. I have done a lot of different things and sometimes at the time they could have seemed random [not that there is anything wrong with that, i like it - at moments though you think to yourself, why am i doing this?]. I enjoyed being able to see in hindsight the different points in time, and experiences/skills gained that connected to form these birds and this project, in sending them back into the world, almost as a little stippling. To learn from the past to bring forward with you - I think the key is, follow your heart and your instinct and try! Also, I think, don't rush, take your time and find your speed to find it in the way most meaningful to you. Everyone has different speeds - listen to yours whether fast or slow and find your process or the thing that makes you go. And if you don't succeed right away, try again and don't try to be perfect - that is inhuman, besides the learning and the interest is really in the trying and the finding.
Wow, so now there's a whole calendar year ahead minus just a few days so far! I have a few lists of things to catch up on, things to occur in the near and far timelines, and new/current ideas to pursue & develop. I am really appreciative of all that has happened in the past few months and would like to thank everyone who has helped in this, I could not have done it without you, and I am so very grateful for your help and your collaboration! I am excited to continue and develop current collaborations and see where the birdies will fly! I am also excited to meet new people and ideas, find dreams to open up and form new relationships with wonderful people to make things happen. Wow, at the end of last year, someone introduced me as "This is Tippy, she makes things happen" I'd really like to live up to that statement, I greatly appreciated it and was thrilled to be introduced as such. So here we are, to a Happy twentyeleven, am looking forward to great things happening, and I am also really looking forward to making contributions to IBRRC and Gulf Restoration Network via your support of BirdProject, that will be the best!!
More coming soon!
My jaw dropped four stories this morning at the internet/coffee house when I read that there was another oil rig explosion, but that just showed that I'm not from around here. Just as New Yorkers are used to suspicious packages and vehicles, a native New Orleanian or Gulf Coaster is not surprised by another explosion or spill. As said by a few locals today it's not IF it's WHEN, see the map here on Mother Jones' site showing all of the oil rigs in the area. [looks like so many ticks on a thin dog to me]
Also, I am hoping that Hurricane Earl doesn't sideswipe the East Coast and the dear Outer Banks, it's such a thin strip of land and already eroding away so quickly. So, here's to the hopes that there wasn't another massive oil spill today and that Earl is a gentleman.
UPDATE: Yay! Earl mellowed and the oil rig explosion does not appear to be another oil-spill disaster. I sat next to a man today at lunch who has worked on oil-drilling rig's for thirty years, he said that it was a painting crew on the rig which caused the explosion/fire..? He laughed when I told him I was shocked at how many oil drilling rigs there were in the gulf, he snorted actually & said bet they were hard to count! and then grumbled about how environmentalists didn't let them knock over the old oil rig towers to create coral reefs any longer.. Consistently interesting how very different perspectives can be depending on your involvement. I am still struck by everyone using the same area for such different uses.. fishing/oil/refuge, it is possible for it to be harmonic.. fishing/green energy/refuge.