1. Believe it or not, I had the flu at this time and it later turned into pneumonia.  Still, there were things to be happy about.  :)

    Photo taken October 2013 at the time of deinstallation of Encounter in Stowe, VT

     

  2. Philly is ugly is a timelapse photography project by Philadelphia area photographer, Nathaniel Dodson.
    I recently came across this video of Philadelphia scenes.  As a NYC transplant, my relationship to Philly has felt similar to the one with my city of origin, except more affordable and less overwhelming.  I haven’t lived in NYC since 2006 but friends share news of rising rents and neighborhood bars disappearing.  I’ve seen a shift taking place in my parents’ native Greenwich Village too, a place no longer recognizable as the Bohemian home base of the 1950s and 60s.
    In Philadelphia, and specifically in my neighborhood of Fishtown, there is similar movement.  I know change is happening everywhere and all of the time. My excitement and respect for Philly in particular though comes from the collective creative spirit, the pride in making things by hand and building a life around something you feel passionate about and believe in, an attitude that I see flourishing here right now.  There’s so much momentum and good energy surrounding me.  Philadelphia and its inhabitants are building and sharing the space and conduits for this.
    And knowing that these moments of disparate and numerous elements lining up in that specific way is just that: momentary, is why I feel grateful to be a part of it.  It is a special time that won’t last forever.  So thanks, Philly.
     
  3. Purchased this large laminated piece of Pine wood for a steal from The Resource Exchange

    Spent some time peeling back the two layers of laminate, did some sanding and filling and finished it off with some polyurethane.  Voila!  I am using this section as a counter top/vanity in my bathroom.  Still have two other sections left.  #woodisbeautiful #repurpose

     
  4. work in progress #rubbermold #gardenstudio

     
  5. Two steps forward, one step back.

     
     
  6. Wolf in Wax.  This wolf will be cast in bronze as part of the Encounter sculpture. 

     
  7. Working on a new superhero trading card.  The collection now has 40 cards!  See the rest of them on my website here.  And if you’d like to be a superhero, send me an email @ info@colleenrudolf.com

     
  8. An animation of my cow marionette. 

     
  9. Creatures of Habit

    I heard Dan Gottlieb discuss habits last week on his radio show Voices in the Family and it struck me that there are many similarities between breaking down and understanding our own behaviors and understanding how to train a dog.  Both dogs and humans seem to have similar patterns of “cue (trigger for the behavior to start), automatic behavior and reward (how your brain learns to encode that behavior in the future).”  If you want a change in the behavior, identifying what the cues and the rewards are is critical for affecting that transformation, in both dogs and humans. 

    The program is worth listening to in its entirety here, but below is an excerpt that I found most compelling. 

    "….Because of the human capacity to imagine our world and imagine our self, we can actually change the response to those neurotransmitters, simply by deciding to do so."

    "Once we move into advanced societies, why do we form habits around working hard or exercising?  With exercising there are neurotransmitters, endorphins that give us sense of pleasure.   But why do a lot of people automatically get into the habit of working hard?  Here, the reward is a sense of esteem, a sense of satisfaction of getting something done, that your life has purpose.  We as humans have an amazing ability to make something rewarding by deciding that it is rewarding.  And that is a really powerful capacity, because it gives us the ability to shape what behaviors will become automatic through choice as opposed to being victims of chemistry."

    We differ from dogs in this way.  This is why it becomes our responsibility to train them.  If we are asking canines to live with us in our society, we must do the work of shaping their behavior so that they may enjoy greater freedoms and not ever be deemed a nuisance.  I recently was informed of a surgical procedure called devocalization where the animal’s vocal chords are removed.  You can read more about it here. Now I suppose there at some point might be a reason for this kind of surgery, perhaps a cancer spreading?   But as a way to deal with an animal that is being too noisy???  Incredible what methods we humans will choose over working with the animal. 

    By recognizing cues and rewards in whatever form that they might take, we can change behavior.  In this way and with this effort, we will begin to provide the compassion we all seek. 

     
  10. A week in Maine does a body good, especially when you have four four-leggers guiding you. 

    Always willing to walk to the point, go for a drive, climb Dorr Mountain or take a snooz in the sunshine, the dogs remind me how to live in the present moment, how to try even though it might be hard and how not to worry about digestive issues brought on by sea grass.   

    Thank you Maine and all that you’ve given us!  Until next time   :)