Sep 26 2015

Du Nain Rouge


Du Nain Rouge is the enigmatic legend of Detroit, by some thought to protect the city, by others, to only appear as a harbinger of pending disaster.  A few years back I stumbled upon a wonderful book at my local library, written in 1884 by Marie Caroline Watson Hamlin, titled Legends of Le Detroit, in which I first read his story.  In this particular legend, it was a fortune teller, entertaining a party in Quebec, who warned Monsieur La Mothe Cadillac that he would cross paths with this “red dwarf” in the city he was to found.  He was told that he would create a city greater than New France itself, and would have many children around his hearth, but that he must not offend Du Nain Rouge or his children would never inherit the great wealth he was to possess.  Years later, after founding just such a city, he and his wife were walking through the Kings Gardens late at night when the visage of Du Nain Rouge appeared before them.  Heedless of the old fortune teller’s advice, he shouted for the “red imp” to get out of his way.  Shortly thereafter Cadillac was arrested in Montreal and was forced to sell his seigniory in Detroit to pay for his trial.  After being removed to Louisiana as governor, he was to die in France, and his children did not inherit any of his vast estate.  He was said to have appeared just before the attack at Bloody Run, and again in 1805, dashing through the flames as the city burned.



I prefer to face our demons head on, so to speak.  By sculpting him, by engaging him, I like to think that he is simultaneously respected and revered, and yet loses that power over Detroit his legend holds.  Whether he needs to be quashed and run out of town, or flattered and appeased to keep the city safe is an ongoing debate.

Dec 8 2014

Tiny Expo 2014



Tiny Expo is nearly here!  Come to the AADL this Saturday, December 13th from 11-5:30pm and see me along with other local artists and crafters selling their wares.  It will be located at the Downtown Ann Arbor District Libary, 343 S.Fifth Ave, at the corner of Fifth and William.  While you’re there, you can pick up some winter reading/playing/awesomeness from the library, listen to the popular Classical Bells concert (from 1-2pm) and shop til you’re hearts content.  I hope to see you there!

For more info on Tiny, vendor previews, and to spread the word, check out their Facebook event 

Oct 1 2013

Kerrytown Kids Art Market

rocket's booth

The Kerrytown Artisan Market happens every Sunday 11-4pm, from early April through mid December.  This past weekend was special though.  In conjunction with the regular market, there was a Kids’ Art Market, giving local kids a chance to see what it’s like to not only make art, but display and sell it!  The photo above shows my daughter at her booth, where she sold her original character drawings on canvas, and as magnets and bookmarks.


Here she is, so proud of her very first sale!!!  I want to thank this amazing Ann Arbor community for their encouragement and support.  Watching my daughter’s confidence grow with each interaction, and with each customer that took the time to stop and compliment her hard work, or even buy a piece – we are so fortunate to live in this town.  It was not an easy day for a 3rd grader.  Between setup, the show times, and cleanup, it was a nearly 7 hour workday, yet she was able to keep a smile on her face for her customers, and was already planning for future shows and learning from all of the other artists and booths around her.

Keep an eye out for Art by Rocket in the future, with such a perfect first show under her belt, she has big plans for many more to come!


Jul 18 2011

Robot Art Fair at 826

The 52nd Ann Arbor Art Fairs are set to begin this Wednesday, July 20th and continue through Saturday, the 23rd. Now, if you weren’t already planning to come, you should change your mind after hearing this…  the Second Annual Robot Art Fair within Art Fair at 826 runs the whole time too!

By Deets’ bugs, bots, and octopi will be there for sale, with 20% of each purchase going to support this fantastic organization.  In addition to the local robot art offerings, there will be robot art projects for kids, and an industrial robot who is set to appear in Spiderman 4.  Can you think of a better way to escape the heat for just a bit?

Apr 18 2011

A2 Awesomeness…. better known as Festifools

Without a doubt, Festifools is my favorite A2 weekend of the year.  A parade for giant puppets and foolishness, for no religious or political reason whatsoever… how can you top that?!  With more foolishness of course.  This year in addition to the Festifools parade, Friday night was a celebration of the Fools Moon.  I got so excited at the idea that I began a much too large project and ended up with a quick Eli solution… glowsticks inside a balloon, tied to a stick.  The luminary lucky cat will have to make his debut another year.

After the Fools Moon on Friday night, we REALLY didn’t want to miss out on being a part of the Festifools parade this year.  Enter Chibi Robo, the Halloween costume we made for our son in preschool.  Chibi Robo was modified with an extension pole, paint roller and trigger mechanism to control his head, two long dryer vent arms and aluminum foil wrapped wire claws, just the right size for hugging small childrens’ heads.

Modifications are already being planned for next year, along with the addition of Chibi’s sidekick Telly -the foundation of which will be our daughters costume from the same year.

Ann Arbor, thanks for being such a foolish community. (Click here for more foolishness).  These are the times I’m reminded why I call you home.

Mar 10 2011

Big Top Revue II

Over mid-winter break my kids flew to California to enjoy the fun of Disneyland, Legoland, and California Adventure with their wonderful grandparents, leaving ulotrichous and I nine days of “quality time” together.  What did we do with all that time you ask?  Well, ahem, that’s rather personal, but I did want to mention the awesome fundraiser we went to.  For those of you who know me, you’ll be shocked to hear that I wore a cocktail dress, and heels, and sparkly tights, and everything!  I felt absolutely fancy… (thanks to my wonderful neighbor and her closet:)

The Big Top Revue II was a “night of cabaret, cuisine and cocktails” to benefit Top of the Park.  The entertainers were fantastic, juggling, singing, and, best of all, accordion playing while we enjoyed delicious dinner and wine, and the most amazing little cheesecakes ever.

You can find a slideshow of the evening’s highlights here.

The 28th annual A2 Summer Festival/Top of the Park will run from Friday, June 17th-Sunday, July 10th.  The full lineup of shows/events will be available in early April.  Mark your calendars now, summer will be here before you know it! (ha, doesn’t feel that way right now, I know.)

Jan 27 2011

Michigan wedding

I had the pleasure of creating a wedding topper for a local couple this fall, and I figure it’s about time to share the photos.  Congratulations to Tricia and Ryan, married October 23,2010!

Jan 19 2011


Late January in Michigan can be a winter wonderland of sledding and snow sculpting and snuggling by the fire while everthing outside sparkles with snow and ice, fields of white everywhere….. or it can be really cold and wet, with the snow too wet to sled on and too slushy to sculpt.  Last week, winter wonderland (although no sculpting yet, as the snow never got to a good packing state); this week, yuk.

So with the winter blues hitting hard, what better time to remember one of the moments that make up for days like this?  I’m speaking of the Big Chill, of course.  Thanks to our wonderful friend, he and four tickets to the game came to Ann Arbor for the weekend.  Painfully, I couldn’t go to the game,  but my boys went and soaked it all in.  Fireworks, a stealth flyover, and a world record for attendance (85,451) of an ice hockey game.  Anywhere.  Ever.  The icing on the cake.  The cake was Michigan’s clobbering of Michigan State.  The icing, the record.  All on the plate of the Big House.  And there were 113,411 forks.

The following afternoon was open skating on the Big House ice.  The field was covered in snow, with the zambonis working double overtime to keep up with the snow falling down as the skaters shivered and smiled.  We made it just in time, as the snow was coming down harder than the zambonis could zamboni.  The session after ours was the last.

Jan 5 2011

A New Year

A few nights ago I saw a cloud over Kerrytown that made it look as though the whole building were on fire. The entire sky filled with intense color, and as I drove up the hill home, it played tricks on my eyes like a rainbow…….. a beautiful winter sky.

Now, I’m a fan of resolutions, but resolutions of the wanna try or do list variety.  The good bits. The no pressure kind.  Well, I have some of the others too, but that’s irrelevant to this story….  The flames got me thinking of my resolution to get a Rocket tattoo, and, as luck would have it,  the fantastic artist Jen Munford was in at Name Brand Tatoo today.  After a nice lunch with my love I went back in to get this, and even in time to pick up the kids from school… bonus points!!

Aug 25 2010

Drifting down the Huron River

Ahhh…. one of our favorite things to do in summertime.  The slowness of a summer river made the most recent trip a relaxing, lazy coast downstream.  Along the way several turtles were spotted, some new-ish graffiti, a couple of small furry types, and a heron which didn’t appreciate how long I was staring.

This has been a truly beautiful summer.