Liberate Your Art 2015

Earlier this year my friend Virgina at Yazberry Fashion got me plugged into Kat Sloma‘s Liberate Your Art postcard swap.

The idea is kind of like an old school pyramid scheme, expect with art. Basically you send Kat five postcards of your art, and you get back six postcards from other artists!

I got six gorgeous cards in the mail, and it was a breath of fresh air in the midst of a long, drawn-out Chicago winter.

Without further ado here are the cards.

The first is a glorious floral from Jill at

Next we have a card featuring ceramics from Dirty Dog Studio and Gallery.

Eric Bluth of MY Mail Art World brightened my life with these flowers.

The following is from D.L. Correa

Then there’s the graffiti style art from Anthony Leggins

And finally the card from Kat Sloma herself

I had an especially delightful time connecting via the pre-swap scavenger hunt. I sent these earrings off to Pat Lyon-Surrey

Here she is wearing the earrings

And I won this gorgeous prize from Christie Juhasz

She also included several collaging goodies, and the envelop was gorgeous. It was the best mail day I have had in quite a while.

So all in all I had a blast, and I’m looking forward to making more connections as we go along! Be in touch!


Here’s where some of mine arrived:

Carlyn Clark in Los Angeles

– Marji of Sun Break in the Forecast

Thanks for letting me in on their arrival!!


Caffeinated Folding Bike Cover

“16. Folding bicycles in protective covers are permitted on all trains at all times…” –

Bike Cover1 11-4-13My folding bike is named Franklin. Franklin is a Gotham style bike from Citizen Bikes.  You can buy brand name protective covers for these bikes, but I figured I could do better by creating my own.

<===== Cover in action. Pretty in cognito, no?

The good folks over at Headstash Roasting Company offered me several coffee sacks, which served as the fabric of the cover. I decorated it with pins and patches:
Bike Cover Patches 2
The Bomb sock pocket and the “Bikes not bombs” patch were both from The Hub Co-Op in Minneapolis. One pin is from Grid Chicago’s Streetsblog launch party, while three are ones I made at Artica Studios.

However, the patch that I am currently most proud of is the limited edition red one white cycling patch made by Chris Drew of the Art Patch Project. I rather fortuitously acquired it up when Mess Hall was still open. Moreover, I recently had the good fortune of re-encountering the Art Patch Project at Sol Cafe’s Chicago Ideas Week event, where Maria and Natalia were helping people print tee shirts with the city skyline.

Is it just me, or do coffee and cycling go hand in hand??
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Lunar Jade Earrings

On a recent visit to my parents house I rediscovered a lunar globe – it was a medium sized tin sphere depicting the surface of the moon. Unfortunately it had come apart in two halves, and (evidently) past attempts to repair it had failed. Yet it seemed ripe with potential.

Upon bringing it home and pondering it I felt more and more strongly that I ought to find ways to use small pieces of it, rather than find a purpose for the whole.

In this, the first instantiation of this idea, I paired the cutout moon pieces with jade beads. Behold, the resultant “Lunar Jade” earrings:

jade moon 3

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Mercy of the Thorns Necklace

mercy of the thorns 130824

You’ll find it in the veil of night where solitude is born

In the emptiness of broken flesh, at the mercy of the thorns

~ Thorns, by Demon Hunter

A long while ago someone commented to me that they were tired of cross necklaces, and why doesn’t someone do anything with the nails or the thorns?

This is my attempt to remedy the situation. The chain links are each nails that I individually bent, while the “thorns” are small black beads, twisted up with black wire. The pendant was something I found on a walk, and the box is an unwanted one from my parents’ place.

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Ghost Bike Card

I guess I think about bikes a lot. A long time ago, in 2007,  my grandfather bought me a trek 4500 that looked like this:stock doug

When I moved to the Twin Cities I didn’t have a car, and so I rode, a lot. Eventually, I moved to a new place, and a new bike shop opened up a stone’s throw from my place. It was the U of M branch of The Hub Co-op. It was right on my way to and from work, and (since I was working at Starbucks at the time) I’d often drop by, and give them my free pound of beans. I had a bunch of awesome and encouraging conversations with the guys that worked there, and bought some pretty cool stuff there, too…

Anyway, this year my beloved bike was stolen. I had renter’s insurance, but they required that I provide proof of ownership. Easy, right? Not so fast! The one picture I thought my bike might be in didn’t feature my bike, and I’m pretty do-it-yourself, so hadn’t ever had much “official” work done on it.

In fact, the only “real” work I could recall having done on it was that one time after I’d been hit by a taxi, and I took it to the Hub. So I called them up, and one of the guys found it for me, and thus the day was saved!

I sent them this card, as a homage to my deceased bike.

ghost doug

I’m thinking it might make a good line of sympathy cards. Thoughts?

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How it Begins

Another reason, another cause for me to fight
Another fuse uncovered now for me to light
My dedication to all that I’ve sworn to protect
I carry out my orders without a regret
My declaration embedded deep under my skin
A permanent reminder of how it began

Indestructible, by Disturbed

For a long time I’ve pondered getting a tattoo. Despite all the “do you really want something permanent on your body?”, and the host of other reasons not to get one, I’ve worked out when I’d get it, what I’d get, and where I’d put it.

But first, have we got updates for you!

This whole Industrial Grace Restoration thing is live now. We’ve got a facebook page,  an Etsy shop, and even an FEIN. And in terms of where this blog will go, you can expect an update every Friday, as well as the occasional additional post.

This post is a “reminder of how it began”. A good place to start would be the logo,  designed by the talented graphic designer Matty Evans:

It hits the nail on the head in terms of capturing what we’re about. It “show[s] a sense of grace and eloquence”  but also the more reckless industrialized side of things.  Don’t you think he did a good job?

About that tattoo: it would look a lot like the pylons in the logo,  I’d get it on the back of my neck, like a barcode, and I’m getting it if Ghost dies young. It would be a “.. declaration embedded deep under my skin // A permanent reminder…”

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