Update – The Living Room Project

ziploc bags filled with photographs

I have been asked by a few participants how the process for making my new Living Room piece is going.

I have been sketching out how I want to go about creating the work. I have created a model as a starting point.

I am dissecting each photo I receive and separating them into sections. Each little piece of everyone’s living room is being put into labeled ziploc bags.


ziploc bags filled with photographs

After I collect enough of each piece I will sew them all together into a new living room!

Close up of living room model

I still need living room photos!

If you or anyone you know has not submitted photos, send them my way. lauren [at] laurenusher.com

A Transitional Period.

My art collaborator, Lisa Rasmussen, and I have been discussing the idea of change for a a few months now.  We have been working on a project called Art is Moving for 2 years now and are loving our success.  Lisa will be moving out of the area in September of this year so the dynamic of our collaboration will inevitably be effected.  We are attempting to practice having a long distance art relationship so that we can continue to be a positive force in the art world and community at large.  At this point we really won’t know what will happen to our project until it happens.  Luckily, we are both fairly easy going women that are not afraid of change.

It seems as though I am going through an individual transition as well.  My own artwork and art concept seem to be shifting.  As I am attempting to live a minimalistic type life I am starting to wonder where art fits in.  By minimalistic I mean, low impact, sustainable, eco friendly and the like.  As I try to limit the amount of new material I purchase for my house and life and increase the amount that I reuse and recycle, it has started to make little sense to by new materials to create art.  About 2 years ago I started a project called Significant Stranger, where I made a rule (as I usually do for my art projects) that all of the material I use for my “canvas” had to have been used by someone else before me.  It tied wonderfully into the concept of the art project, that those in the past have created the world I live in today.

There seems to be another reason my body and mind gravitated towards reusing material. This past week I starting having trouble using linoleum to carve because I cannot find anyone who will recycle the small leftovers that I create.  Although I can’t believe I am saying this, I am going to give up linoleum.  Artists are supposed to be creative, right?  Well it is time to get creative and find some used material to act as my linoleum.  Book pages that are stacked and glued together make great carving boards, old wood from the dump, old doors, drawers, lots of stuff.

If Art is Life and Life is Art it only makes sense that the two should mirror one another entirely.

I’m workin’ on it…

Earth Day Quilt

So, I collected a ton of “Quilt Patches” during the Fremont Earth Day Fair back in April.  Now the time has come for me to figure out a way to sew them all together.  The problems I am facing are the fact that the materials I am using are extremely fragile and usually do not get sewn together with a sewing machine.  Ignoring those two obstacles, I don’t think I should have much of a problem.

Since the quilt is made up of newspaper and manila folders, I wanted to protect it with some kind of covering.  I found some old transparencies my husband donated to my “reuse it” pile of materials and it is working out great!  I am sewing the the plastic transparency to the top of the patches and sewing the patches together at the same time.

I don’t know how large the quilt is going to be yet, as I am just sort of organically sewing it together.  That seems to be the way I work when it comes to sewing, I don’t know why.  But, as soon as I am finished I’ll take a photo and show you the final project.

I have contacted a few people down in Fremont in hopes of displaying the quilt when it is finished.  What I would really like is to have it on permanent display somewhere in the city.  I’ll keep you posted (that’s the best pun I have ever made-I know, not very good.)


I have started experimenting a bit with my screenprinting.  I am trying to design purses around a screen print.  Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I thought what could be better than a heart?  I also had the screen already made and laying around, so it was great when I all of a sudden decided yesterday that I wanted to screen print on the next purse I made.

The best thing about experimentation is that it always leads down a path you have never been.  I gathered a great many new ideas in my head yesterday evening as I sewed my lopsided purse and pouch.  Check them out and let me know what you think.

My purses are available for purchase at my etsy store.

Oh won’t you be my neighbor

Mr. Rogers printed on Caltrans photographs

So, first and foremost I would like say that I am a total lame brain. I just received an awesome comment in my “comment box” here on my blog, but accidentally deleted it. If you are out there, person who commented on the Feminist bras and wanted to know if there was still time to be involved in the project—YES! I am still looking for some wonderful volunteers. Either leave me another comment, and this time I will make sure I don’t delete it. Or, if you don’t trust me, just send it via email to lauren@laurenusher.com and I will email you back with my address and bit more information on what I need from you.

So sorry that I totally approved your comment and then somehow deleted it. WordPress can trick you sometimes if you aren’t careful.

On to another more happy subject. I am happy to say that I have finished another piece for my Significant Stranger Project. I have been painting images from found photographs onto old photographs from CalTrans. Anyway, I was struggling with the look of it and I didn’t feel like it was really delivering the concept I wanted it to. So I sat with it a while and came up with this.

Mr. Rogers printed on Caltrans photographs

Certainly a whole new idea. But, I am much more fond of it and believe it delivers a much stronger concept and, let’s face it, it is much cooler looking.

I grew up watching Mr. Rogers and have always had a strange relationship with the idea of neighbors. My whole artistic endeavor is about getting people more involved with one another, but I have to say, I still want a tall fence around my backyard. Does that make me a hypocrite–maybe so. But, I’m sure there are more people out there who feel the same. I appreciate privacy and believe it is a right, but I do think that we should attempt to cross our own boundaries once in a while and get to know those around us.