slightly wonky


Getting more fiber…
October 21, 2014, 8:41 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., textile forms | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I was going through museum withdrawal recently, so I went to the ICA in order to get my art fix.  I went specifically to the ICA because of their current show: Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – Present.  EXCITING!!!  My excitement should not be surprising as I have a yarn stash the size of a water buffalo in the attic.  Hee hee!  (Don’t tell my husband.)

Before going to the show, and speaking of fiber, I noticed this on the windowsill:

a-toastsmall

No, not the Halloween decoration.  THE TOAST.  My son somehow decided that THIS would be a good place to leave his egg covered toast.  Why, you may ask?  Who knows.  Six-year-olds work in mysterious ways…and mine typically works in ways that are MOST MYSTERIOUS.

Back on topic: the work at the ICA was fantastic.  I loved the textures, the colors…everything.  It was hard to restrain myself not to TOUCH the artwork, as it just begs to be poked and hugged.  If you like to knit, you know what I’m talking about.  I get itchy fingers in a yarn store NOT because I’m allergic to wool, but because I need to snuggle the yarn.  This is frowned upon at a museum, though.  Humph.

Here are a few of the works, (you will note that some would be more “snuggly” than others)…

(BTW…this blog is a “grammar free zone”…)

Alan Sheilds, Nina Got It for 100 Francs, 1971

This looked like an intricate mesh interlaced with thin wood dowels and suspended from the ceiling.  LOVE IT!  It isn’t clear if the main textile in the piece was created or found.  It looks like a found piece that was dyed, especially if you consider the title.  If I had a big, white, modern house…I’d love to have this floating in a corner.  I’d sit in a white Bertoia bird chair while drinking a pumpkin latte (’tis the season), and just gaze at it for hours.  I love the tension between it’s opacity and its transparency.  They are so balanced.  (Not to change the subject, but does anyone want to buy me one of those Bertoia chairs?  No?  What about a pumpkin latte?  Bueller?)

And a detail:

Alan Shields, Nina Got It for 100 Francs (detail), 1971

It looks kind of childish with it’s bright colors simple construction…but it looks really great as a whole.

Another cool piece:

Ed Rossbach, Constructed Color, 1965

Ed Rossbach, Constructed Color (detail), 1965

TINY RAFFIA BRAIDS.  This looks like some kind of dried sea creature.  I like the colors.  Small hands.  Look at that texture!

Next:

Elsi Giauque, Element spatial (Spatial Element), 1979

And a detail:

Elsi Giauque, Element spatial (Spatial Element) (detail), 1979

I loved this too!  This would also go fabulously in that imaginary white modern house that I do not own.  It’s interesting that some of pieces in the show were very heavy, while others very light.  That sounds kind of dumb and obvious, but I love the contrast.  In other words…I think of other sculptural materials, such as bronze, as…well, heavy…always heavy.  But look how different fiber can be!  I suppose it is generally linear, but can be bundled, knotted, woven, etc. to create density or lightness.

Next:

Alexandre Da Cunha, Kentucky Pied de Poule I, 2012

I love the neutral colors here.  I also love the thickness and almost Amish look to it.  The most fabulous thing about that piece is that it is made of mop heads.  I KID YOU NOT.  Isn’t that fantastic????  No?  Too bad.

Next:

Diane Itter, Color Point, 1981

Diane Itter, Color Point (detail), 1981

Oh. My. God.  HUNDREDS of brightly colored embroidery threads (a guess), are deftly knotted to form a kind of textile Op Art.  CAN YOU SEE HOW MANY KNOTS THERE ARE IN THIS???  Amazing.  The colors are incredible, and the precision is ridiculous.  It makes my inept “friendship bracelets” of elementary school look a bajillion times more inept.

Next:

Sherri Smith, Front Range, 1976

Sherri Smith, Front Range (detail), 1976

Ahhhh…layers and layers of knotted, knitted wool.  AMAZING.  This one begs to be touched, and yet I did not.  (Wouldn’t this be a FANTASTIC sweater?  Is that gauche to say so?  Probably.)  Again…look at the texture!!!  Sigh…swoon…

Next:

a-bailey1

Xenobia Bailey, Sistah Paradise’s Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent, 1993-2009

a-bailey2

Xenobia Bailey, Sistah Paradise’s Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent (detail), 1993-2009

WHOA.  If there were crocheting Olympics, this artist would be on the cover of a Wheaties box.  How does one even BEGIN this kind of fantastic creation????  I think this artist needs to do an installation at the ICA.  She needs to fill an entire room with her works.  It would probably be asking too much if I wanted to snuggle some of her works, but I digress…

I need more pom poms.  Just sayin’.

A trip to the ICA is always a fantastic few hours.  I wish that I lived closer, or I’d just hang out there ALL THE TIME.  I’m sure that they’re glad that I’m not a local.

Coincidentally, I recently started dabbling in weaving.  It’s pretty fun, and works up MUCH faster than knitting.  Here is my crude start:

a-loom2

Don’t you wonder how I can muster up the gumption to continue weaving this little thing after seeing that show at the ICA???  I do.  I clearly have no shame!  I like to learn new things, so I am perpetually a beginner…(and one of those “jack of all trades/master of none.”)  This thing screams, “BEGINNER!” and has that tell-tale D.I.Y. aura.  Oh well.  At least I can snuggle it.



Manbaby nightmares and Etsy

 

tree

Yay!  Fall is here!  I love the colors on the trees…apple picking…apple eating…pumpkins…the whole thing.  One thing that does trouble me, however, is the dreaded Halloween costume.  My son has told me that he wants to be some kind of Pokemon.

Oh.

Great.

For those of you that don’t know, there are a billion different Pokemon characters, and none of them look remotely like a six year old boy.  Example:

pokemon 3

Seriously?  How am I going to make any one of those into a costume???  Suggestions?

What if I bought a Pokemon stuffed animal, and just strapped it to his head?  Weird?

He spends a lot of time drawing Pokemon, which I think is cute:

pokemonI think that those are made up.  I mean…I know, I know…ALL POKEMON ARE MADE UP.  I meant that these two are not “official” ones.  Basically, I’m going insane over here with the Pokemon nonsense and I need someone to talk to me about something adult and tangible.  World news?  Syria?  Ebola?  Honey Boo Boo?

Hmm.  Depressing.

Perhaps non-stop talk about Pokemon isn’t that bad after all!

So, my minor achievement (besides vacuuming) is to have actually created an Etsy store!  Check it out here.  Yes!    You can now buy some of the crazy stuff that I make!  So far, not much has happened.  The odds of anyone “finding” my stuff on Etsy is similar to the odds in Horton Hears a Who.

horton

Right?  Sigh.  It’s tough being a metaphorical dust speck.  If you have any constructive feedback about my Etsy store, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

I’ve recently gotten some fabric back from Spoonflower that I’m using to make scarves.  Spoonflower is an online, on demand textile printing service.  So, you can design your own fabric and then have it printed!  It’s kind of cool  Here’s what I made:

infinity pink 1

It’s a knit infinity scarf.  Here it is again, with more of the green showing:

infinity pink 2

I love it! I need to find a reasonable looking person to model it for me. Actually, I know tons of reasonable looking people, just not any that would be willing to be photographed for Etsy.  Hmm.  Yet again I am feeling the disadvantage of not looking like a supermodel.  Sigh.

infinity pink 5

Maybe I should take a cue from a famous artist and try this strategy for modeling?

magritteRene Magritte, Les Amants

Right???  I could even cover my head with my SPOONFLOWER FABRIC that I DESIGNED!

Would that be appealing, or sort of freaky and disturbing?  I’m thinking the latter.

Maybe I can just photoshop on a cute head?

 manbabyman, baby, manbaby by Ed Alkema

WHOA.  Okay…NOT a good idea.

Oh…nevermind.  Just let me know if you’re a supermodel and would be willing to either:

1. Model my Etsy creations.

2.  Go grocery shopping for me.

3.  Vacuum.

4.  Take out the trash.

Thank you!

 



Verklempt
September 5, 2014, 10:34 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., Photography, travel | Tags: , , , ,

You know those bumper stickers that say, “I survived blahdy blah“?  I feel that I need one of those for these last three weeks of summer vacation.  I have a bumper crop of gray hairs as material proof of the ordeal.  (Because I have frizzy hair, my gray hairs look EVEN WORSE than most people’s…pity my hideousness…)

During this three week period, I noticed that the words “play date” would often put me into a mild panic.  It might be because most of my son’s play dates usually devolve into complete pandemonium.  Can one use the word “tsunami” as a verb…as in, “My son and his friend have “tsunamied” the house?”  Possibly.  (An image of our post-play date living room could be used for the wikipedia entry.) I spend most of the time being the “house goalie,” trying to deflect the path of destruction that my six-year old son and his friends are typically on.  Sometimes, I can calm their craziness with a bowl of cheddar goldfish and lemonade.  Sometimes, I just rock absentmindedly in the corner as I clutch the bag of cheddar goldfish for dear life.

I’m not really cut out to be a mom, but I’m doing my best.

I had the bright idea of taking my son to NYC for a couple of days, in order to show him some tall buildings and to escape the craziness at home.  The trip actually turned out better than expected, as I was worried that he would hate it for some reason.  We didn’t get a chance to visit anyone, as we weren’t there long enough, so we just ran around…the two of us.

a-pool

I had the bright idea of finding a hotel with a pool.  That large object at the top of my picture is my finger, not a flesh-colored UFO landing on my son’s head.  This was the first thing that we did in NYC.  I know…not very NYC…big whoop.

a-empire1

We went to the top of the Empire State Building.  He liked it, but didn’t like the crowds of people.  I bought the  “express” tickets, as we would never had made it if we had to wait in line for hours.  Actually, “I” wouldn’t have made it.  I would have just slipped back into my catatonic state again, much like my reaction to play dates.

a-empire2

My son had the wherewithal not to practice parkour when we were up there.  Apparently, he does have a sensible bone in his body!  I take no credit for that.

a-dino

We spent the ENTIRE DAY at the American Museum of Natural History.  That’s a fantastic place. I normally avoid places where lots of people and kids congregate, but this was really cool.  (Probably because it didn’t feel like there were lots of people and kids there.)  They had an amazing exhibit of LIVE SPIDERS.

a-spider

I am deathly afraid of spiders…so these huge, hairy ones petrify me.  Yes, that’s my finger in yet ANOTHER photograph…but this time to show scale.  (don’t all professional photographers do that???)  That thing was HUGE.  Beyond gross.  It’s so enormous that I can’t even call it a spider, but must refer to it as a “thing.”  You couldn’t pay me to touch one of those creatures.  I stopped myself from yelling, “SO BEYOND GROSS!!!” at each of them, so that I would not taint my son’s opinion of them.  Those things have eight eyes, so I bet they could see my revulsion.  If one of them had jumped or made a sudden move, I would have lost my mind.

a-museum

In spite of my stress at seeing the spiders, the museum was generally calm.  See how it doesn’t feel crowded?  That kind of tourist attraction…I can tolerate.  For some reason, the Museum of Science in Boston is always a madhouse.  I can’t go there.  I’d rather remain dumb in my living room than go there and learn something.

a-centralpark

We also had some time in Central Park.  Hallelujah!  Something that mommy will let me climb on!  I would just go into another mild panic when he ran out of view, but I had no bag of goldfish to clutch and comfort me.

a-btea

And, of course…bubble tea.  Luckily, it was noisy in that cafe.  The hipsters wouldn’t have appreciated our loud slurping to eat every last blob.

We got back from NYC, and almost immediately left for a week at the Cape.

a-beachagain

a-surf

a-ptown2

Of course, that last picture is from Provincetown, and, of course, my son found that wildly entertaining.  We tried to get tickets for the show, but were told that it was only for cool people.  (Just kidding…about the tickets…)

We found some neat stuff at the beach:

a-hairy2

Okay…so, I obviously added the eyeballs in Photoshop.  But isn’t this rock BEGGING for eyeballs???  If this were a Pokemon, it would be called “Flobu” and it would do 30 points of damage by either sitting or shedding on its opponent.  (Please send help.  I think that I’m still recovering from 24/7 mommy duty…)

a-sunset

We caught a pretty fantastic sunset over the water one evening.  We also ate gobs of ice cream.

So, thank god we’re back home and have returned to our normal routine.  Now, you can be sure to have more blog posts and more minutiae!  I’m thinking that the topic of my next post will be:

Q-TIPS: THE CONTROVERSY

Are you a user?

What’s your tip of choice?

Are you careful?

Or, do you use them with reckless abandon?

Discuss…a la Linda Richman.

a-linda

 



Hammertime!
August 8, 2014, 9:26 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , ,

Today is my son’s last day at camp.  SOB!…sniff sniff…That means that next week, I have to be on mommy-duty 24/7.  YIKES.  Some people delight in that.  For me, it puts me in a sort of low-grade panic.  HOW are we going to pass the time???  HOW am I not going to go postal???  I’m sure by the end of summer, my son will be thrilled to go back to school and get away from me.  I know that I would too, but…unfortunately, I’m stuck with me.

He has made some priceless creations at camp this year:

a-boat

They have “woodshop” at camp.  Isn’t this super cute?  This will be used as the centerpiece for the head table at his wedding.  (Just kidding…maybe…)

a-door

This is a tiny door.  I suppose that we could put it at the base of a tree, as if it was the entry to a gnome house?  Apparently, my son smacked his thumb with a hammer when making this.  Ahh…this is the timeless injury which began when early man first started using tools!  It’s 2014, and we still do it today.

thumb

Look at this ridiculous graphic that I found.  What kind of moronic image is this?  Who puts their thumb ON the nail????  Should that even be considered an accident???  Why do I immediately think of Congress when I see this?  I know that doesn’t make sense, as something is actually HAPPENING in this image.

But I digress…my son’s last creation from yesterday:

a-thingy

I forgot to ask my son what this is.  It looks like something that would be legal only in Colorado.  I’m not sure what they’re teaching those kids at camp, but I can overlook it because they make him lunch.  Yes, I’m THAT kind of mom.  I’m just glad that there is no licensing exam for being a mom, or else I’d be undoubtedly parenting without a license.

So, yesterday was the reception for a show of my drawings.  It was fun for me, because it is at my old office.  These were some images of the show last Friday when I was setting it up:

a-sasaki2

a-sasaki1

a-sasaki3

a-sasaki4

There is a blog write up about the show here.  It was great to see many of my former co-workers.  I was also really happy that some of my non-architect friends came as well.  I was kind of stressed about the show before I hung it, but I think that I had forgotten how nice everyone is at my old office.  I could tell that I wasn’t used to getting out much in the adult world because I referred to someone’s water bottle as a “sippy cup.”  WTH?  My son doesn’t even USE sippy cups anymore.  CLEARLY, you can take the mommy out of the house, but you can’t take the house out of the mommy.  Perhaps someday scientists will find some correlation between Stop & Shop and early onset Alzheimer’s?

I wore one of my latest creations to the reception:

a-tunicfront

I’m pretty happy with it!  My sewing skills are improving…thank god.  It’s hard to work with silk.  I’m realizing that silk chiffon is even worse, but I’ll show you that project when/if I finish it.  And the back:

a-tunicback

Do you think that I could sell these on Etsy?  Or, am I the only person what would wear this kind of thing?  Probably.  Growing up, I was always the weird kid who dressed strangely.  This clearly hasn’t changed with age.  It’s less endearing now because people don’t think, “How cute!” anymore…instead its, “Why is that old, fat lady dressed like that?”

Because she’s cray cray…that’s why.

Time to get back to my life and death battle with silk chiffon…so far the score is:  Silk Chiffon:3, Me:0.

 



Schwarzenegger and sundaes? Wyeth not?
July 25, 2014, 10:34 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , ,

Does anyone else out there feel that the current situation in the world is particularly depressing?  I know that this is always the case if you focus on the negative, but I feel that humanity has quickened its recent pace of going to hell in a hand basket.  Can’t we all agree to stop killing/invading/abducting one another???  WTH???  Methinks I need an NPR break.  Or maybe a mint chip ice cream sundae with fresh whipped cream?  Or both?

You can all just put away your Strunk & White when you read this blog, lest your grammar cortisol levels skyrocket…(I love a good ellipsis, and find parenthetical expressions invaluable.)

My adviser/friend organizes a local, temporary art exhibit called “Chairful Where You Sit” here in Arlington.  Artists decorate discarded chairs, and then the chairs are sold to support Arlington Public Art’s programs.  Nice!  Here are some of this year’s creations…

a-chairarch

Adria Arch, Chairful Where You Sit 2014

a-chair

Unknown artist (sorry!!!!), Chairful Where You Sit 2014

a-murie

Susan Murie (my neighbor!), Chairful Where You Sit 2014

a-hoff

Amy Hoff, Chairful Where You Sit 2014

It’s a really fun event each year.  I love that the chairs are rescued from the trash and then transformed.  I have not been organized enough to participate and create my own chair thus far.  Maybe if I start NOW, I might be able to complete it in time for NEXT YEAR????  (Is it sad that I need that long? Probably. At least I did some laundry yesterday…)

My mom and I went to see the quilt exhibit at the MFA.  The show is titled, “Quilts and Color.”  The quilts were impressive, obsessive, and convulsive.  (Just kidding about the last one…)

a-quilt1

Quilts and Color at the MFA Boston

a-quilt5

Quilts and Color at the MFA Boston

a-quilt2

Quilts in Color at the MFA Boston

a-quilt3

Quilts in Color at the MFA Boston

a-quilt6

Quilts in Color at the MFA Boston

TINY BITS OF FABRIC!!!  (Yes, I know that isn’t a sentence.)  If you don’t make quilts, you may not realize the HOURS it took to make these.   You also may not appreciate the difficulty in getting such precision between the fiddly little pieces.

Back in the day, no one could just use a little gizmo to pop out identical and accurate pieces of fabric, as we have available today.  Nooo…you had to sit hunched over by candlelight cursing your existence as you cut out minute hexagons from random fabric, hopefully not from your family’s clothes as they’re still wearing them.  (Maybe Amish kids don’t yell, “MOM!  STOP IT!”???)

In the caption next to one quilt, it said something about the local Bishop needing to approve the use of patterned fabric, as opposed to solids.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  I joked that these quilts were actually Amish voodoo dolls where docile Amish women could stab and poke and cut their frustrations out on these things.  Maybe that’s just me?  Hmmm…I would make a terrible Amish woman.  Plus, I look awful in beige.

One interesting thing about the quilt show was that in spite of it being all about COLOR, I generally hated all of the colors.  Odd, right?  The palette of colors was so unpleasant and nauseating.  Rust red next to forest green, mauve, off white, ochre…YUCK.  GAG.  I know it’s quilting blasphemy to make such a statement, but I generally was put off by the colors.  I must be missing that Amish gene…kind of like how I hate cilantro while other people will happily chomp on fistfuls of it.  Blech.  Julia Child hated cilantro too, so I’m not a total philistine.

There are a few pieces of color-intense artwork interspersed in the show:

a-vasarely

Victor Vasarely, MEH2, 1969, Color screenprint

a-riley

Bridget Riley, Elapse, 1982, Color screenprint

These generally enhanced my overall enjoyment of the show, and cleansed my “cilantro-esque” violated aesthetic palette.

The MFA also had an exhibit of the work of Jamie Wyeth, son of Andrew Wyeth.  His technical skill was amazing.  I especially loved many of his watercolors, but his “style” was all over the place.  In addition…again, this is probably art blasphemy to say this…but I found that while some of his work was stunning and beautiful, many other pieces were hideous, while still technically perfect.  Weird, right?

a-wyeth6

Jamie Wyeth, Portrait with Black Wash Background, Head, Nureyev (Study #23), 1977,

Pencil, opaque and translucent watercolor on toned rag board

His drawings are lovely…and I love the inky splotch.

a-wyeth5

Jamie Wyeth, Portrait of Lincoln Kirstein, 1965, Oil on canvas

Apparently, Kirstein was “a towering figure in the art world and passionate advocate of ballet.”  This view is of him standing in the darkened wings of a stage, watching a performance.  This is not the style of art that I am normally interested in, but I loved how most of the picture was of his shadowy back.  I also like that he isn’t a politician/royal.

a-wyeth4

Jamie Wyeth, Head Tide – Maine, 1991, Watercolor on Rag Paper

This is a gorgeous watercolor.  I LOVE IT.  The inky dark trees behind the cold facade of the church is beautiful.  Wyeth has an amazing ability to capture light in his works.

a-wyeth2

Jamie Wyeth Butterscotch, Gull, and Hot Fudge Sundae, 2004,

Translucent and opaque watercolor on toned rag paper

I thought that this was a hilarious painting of a gull with two ice cream sundaes.  See the crazy technical skill?  See the rather odd use of this skill?  It gets weirder…

a-wyeth1

Jamie Wyeth, MFA Boston

Hmm.  Starting to get weird.  The reddish border is actually a garish, splotchy background that looks like something my son would do stuck behind the bird painting.  HMM!  Bizarre.  Go see this show, and you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say both, “Wow!” and “YIKES!”  I didn’t include a photo of the painting of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s naked back as he makes an enormous muscle with his bicep.  I’m not kidding.  For real.  My husband asked if this artist would have had a show at the MFA if his father had not been Andrew Wyeth.

What do you think?  Hmmmmmm…

How can I POSSIBLY JUDGE when this is what I do now…:

a-poncho1

Yes, this is another silk top for my friend.  And the last one:

a-poncho2

Again, these are recycled saris from India.  These are VERY BASIC.  They do look nice on, though.

I also finished a sheer shirt that I made from a commercial pattern:

a-blousefront

a-blouseback

I know…kind of “floofy”, right?  I’ve been wanting to make a more complicated article of clothing using sheer fabric…so, I finally did it!  I’m happy with it, even though I had to redo many parts of it.  See?  How can I judge a painting of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bicep when I make stuff like this???  (At least, I’m covered up, right?  Sheesh.)

Okay, so I’m going to “make like a gull” and get a couple of ice cream sundaes to take my mind off of the bizarre artwork, ugly quilts, global apocalypse, and my own artistic ineptitude.  Carry on!



Sari to bore you…
July 11, 2014, 9:47 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., Sewing | Tags: , ,

As my son was both out of school and not yet in camp, I was inundated with “mommy-time” recently and could not write a post until now.  Camp is a fantastic thing.  We’re lucky that we can send my son there.  It’s definitely cheaper than having me institutionalized from my son being home all summer, right?  I’m so selfless.

My stepdaughter turned 18 this month.  YIKES!  Where does the time go????  In preparing for her family birthday party, my son dressed his Sasquatch up in festive attire:

sasquatch

Notice the red shoes and rakish tilt to his hat.  This Sasquatch doll has become the most entertaining thing in the house.  I guess my son has seen me sewing clothes lately, and decided that he would make some clothes as well.  His look better than mine, naturally, but I’m trying not to feel too intimidated.  I’m going to plagiarize some of his tape details, though…

During the past few mommy-madness weeks, we had a ridiculous incident of a bird “nesting” in my car:

birdie

Isn’t it cute? I got into the car, and saw the bird nestled into the front of the car, between the hood and the windshield.  I got out of the car and stared at it…thinking that my mere presence would frighten it.  Apparently not.  THEN, in my neurotic way, I imagined that perhaps the bird was ill with RABIES, which was why it was behaving so oddly.  (Luckily, no one uses that gauge on me, or else I’d be getting shots more often…)  So, I got BACK into the car, and started the engine.  The bird blinked and stared back at me, unruffled by my 4 cylinder Toyota starting up.  I decided to drive off, hoping that the movement of the car would jar it out of its zombie-like stupor.  No luck.  I started to fret, as I needed to head to the Mass Pike.   What would happen to the wee bird then????  I couldn’t let it blow away on the Pike!!!! Luckily, as I was driving along with him STILL ON MY CAR, I went over a small pothole (or not really so luckily), and he flew off at last.  Disaster averted!

Okay.  Not only has my life been reduced to such minutiae, but you’re actually reading ABOUT my minutiae.  Oh wait, don’t take that the wrong way.  Did I just lose my only reader?  Wait!  Come back!  I promise to somehow make this more interesting somehow!  PLEAAAAASE!!!

Just kidding.  I’ve got no way of making this more interesting.

I have a friend who has lots of sari / saree fabric from India.  I’ve been making simple, draped tops out of them.

top2

This looks really nice on.  It’s silk, so it has that sort of iridescent quality where the green and the red threads overlap.

topdetail

It’s kind of hard to tell in the photo.  He likes it, and has asked me to make three more!  (BTW, these are not for him, but for his girlfriend and family.)  I made a more plain one here:

top1

I know…pretty simple.  The bottom edge is hemmed with gold, and there is a double layer of fabric at the top.  The saris were going to be taken to Goodwill, so I’m glad that I can rescue some of them to become clothes.  It also helps when you’re willing to wear something weird, as I am.

Okay, I PROMISE that my next post will be interesting.  I’m not sure how I will manage that, but I’ll really work on having SOMETHING INTERESTING happen in the next week or so.

Does going to Bed, Bath & Beyond count?  No?  Hmm.  What about Target?  Trader Joe’s?  How about Home Depot?  Oh, never mind…

 



Poke-what???
May 23, 2014, 1:53 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , ,

So, buckling under the crushing weight of peer pressure, my son is now interested in Pokémon.  No joke.  Shouldn’t that be passé by now????  Clearly not.  At the school book fair, he purchased this:

book

I’m not kidding when I say this has to be the worst book EVER.  Here’s a typical sample of writing:

Dawn’s Solaceon Contest combination is called Rainbow Swift.  When Ambipom spins and uses Swift, it fills the Contest auditorium with brilliant stars!

What. The. Hell. Are. They. Talking. ABOUT???

The ENTIRE book is like that.

Brock and Croagunk enter the Pokémon Dress-Up Contest, but Brock doesn’t expect to win.  His Croagunk is excellent at imitating Politoed, but it’s competing against Ash’s Pikachu and a champion Chatot.  But when Team Rocket tries to steal the prize, Croagunk stays in character even while it helps chase them down.  That dedication earns Brock and Croagunk first place and a prize Pokémon egg!

This is what is offered at a school book fair???  More to the point: this is what is considered “a book?”  (You’ll notice that I find no fault in the parent that bought the book.)  SIGH.  No wonder why kids today are illiterate and are in need of meds.  This book makes me want to like down and take some Valium.

The only good that has come of this book is that he spends a lot of time drawing the characters:

pokemon

I think that’s pretty cute.  Like mom…like son…spending hours drawing pictures!  Perhaps next time I should get him a book on the works of Albrecht Durer?  Wouldn’t that be more educational?  Or is that kind of beyond tiger mom and bordering more on Tasmanian devil mom?  In reality, I’m more like three-toed sloth mom:

me1

This is what I’m like most of the time.  It’s kind of sad.

I have gotten some stuff done…but the house is still a mess.  Here’s what I’ve been doing instead of housework:

blouse1

So, I made this silk blouse!  I also dyed it!  Isn’t it cool?  It was a bit longer, but it took me three attempts to hem the thing.  Sewing silk is like trying to staple olive oil.  It’s kind of a slippery mess.  Anyway…I think that I got the hang of it, somewhat.

blouse2

Hmm.  I need more practice ironing clothes, though.  So, this is the kind of think that I thought that I’d try to sell on Etsy.  What do you think????

blouse3

Because I have no standards, I actually wear what I make.  The question is not only: “would anyone else wear this?” but also: “would anyone PAY MONEY to wear this?”  Hmm.  Not sure.  I suppose if I had Giselle Bundchen to model it, perhaps.  I would have to specify in the listing that I am ONLY selling the shirt, and that Giselle is not included.  Honesty is the best policy!  Really, at that point…I could probably put a trash bag on her and sell it, right???  Hmm.  I have some marketing challenges here…does anyone who looks like Giselle Bundchen want to model clothes for me?  No?  Oh well.

If my taste in clothes is not weird enough, I’ve also taken up a new hobby: ice hockey.

helmet

I’m kind of obsessed with it.  It’s beyond fun.  It’s hard being a beginner, though, as there’s so much to learn!  There are also so many opportunities to hurt oneself!  Actually, at the level that I play at, it’s pretty tame.  Any injury that I get would probably be self-inflicted.  Kind of like this:

cork

THAT is one of my favorite movie moments.  Does anyone know what this is from???  If I had anything of value, I’d give you a prize for the correct answer.  I’ll give you a hint: Ruprecht.

Okay, well that’s enough nonsense for one afternoon!  Now, I have to “get to work” doing something besides housework.  Wish me luck!

 



Rubber band tornado
May 9, 2014, 1:13 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags:

So, I continue to be up to my eyeballs in colored rubber bands from my son’s rainbow loom.

bands

Those bands are EVERYWHERE.  I think that they’re breeding.  We have an infestation.  Send help.

Not only are they tedious to pick up…they are even more tedious to sort by color.  If anyone out there is looking for a kind of mindless “zen” activity, please come over and sort rubber bands:

box

I’m thinking that my son might be a bit OCD with this stuff.  He makes things CONSTANTLY.  Here is a fraction of his rubber band creations:

bucket

It’s bordering on crazy.  He has made a bajillion bracelets:

bracelet5

bracelet4

bracelet3

bracelet2

bracelet1

Wait!  But there’s more!  You can make people!

people

…and turtles, tacos, bananas, carrots, hamburgers and prehistoric clubs!

bands food

…and other random stuff!

bands random

SIGH.  I know.  How can I judge?  Don’t I have a bevvy of random “crap”, I mean, “creations” too?  I see that I’ve passed down to my son the insatiable desire to MAKE STUFF.  His level of “making” is bordering on cray cray, though…don’t you think?  Is he going to be 40 years old, living in my basement, up to his armpits in bizarre rubber band thingys while he furiously makes more????  Why can’t he get that inspired to mop or dust????  (I suppose that I should ask myself that question, really.)

He’s not the only one obsessed:

hat

Recently, at JoAnn Fabrics, I lost track of my son, only to find him clutching fifteen bags of red rubber bands.  Apparently, he was planning on making this hat.

No. Freaking. Way.

Rainbow loom is not just for kids, though:

lighter

Nice touch.

phone

Steve Jobs is rolling over in his grave because of this one…

I told my son that he should take up knitting!!!  That isn’t quite as messy.  Maybe he’ll be the next Kaffe Fassett or Brandon Mably?  Hmmm…maybe not, as he went to school today with his shirt inside out because that’s what his friends are doing.  So much for his aesthetic sense…sigh.  I’m going back to trying to clean up all of these bands, a.k.a. “what did I do in a past life to deserve this?”



At least my nails are not mossy…
April 28, 2014, 9:36 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., Sewing | Tags: , ,

I have made it through spring vacation week with my sanity mostly intact.  I took my son to the Ecotarium in Worcester one day.  I was trying to be a responsible mom, and not just let him play with his rainbow loom for eight hours straight while I stare at a wall drooling from excessive kindergartener exposure.  The Ecotarium is a hands-on science and nature museum for kids.  It even boasts a train ride!  Unfortunately, the train isn’t working.  It has a “tree canopy walkway!”  Unfortunately, that’s closed as well.  Humph.  The vending machines work, though…if you need lunch because there is no cafeteria.

This is an image from the Ecotarium website:

ecotarium2

Doesn’t that look lovely and educational???  Do not be fooled…the museum must be closed.  A more accurate photo would show a maelstrom of kids and parents swirling around battered islands of educational displays.  This is is pretty much the case with all indoor kid destinations: The Children’s Museum, the aquarium, The Museum of Science…etc. etc.  They’re all the same.  As a result, I typically avoid them like the plague.  Bad mommy!  I SUPPOSE it’s fun for kids.  I’m not really sure.  I know it’s not fun for parents…until they get a soundproof room with WiFi and a barista.

At least they had some live animals to look at.  We got to see a soft shelled turtle, a spotted turtle, a bald eagle, some owls, a turkey vulture, a porcupine, a skunk, and other stuff.  I loved watching a turtle munch on a big piece of lettuce.  Adorable.  Why are they so cute?  Who knows.

I actually managed to get a surprising amount of stuff done this week, in spite of it all.  Here’s some of the stuff that I made:

A bag for a friend’s daughter:

bag

 

A pouch for a friend:

pouch1

 

pouch2

 

I also reupholstered two chairs.  I’ve been meaning to do this for about four years.  No joke.

chairs

They turned out pretty well, all things considered.  I know that they’ll stay nice looking, as I won’t let anyone sit on them.

We also managed to survive Easter.  I did such a good job hiding the eggs that we didn’t find one of them until the next day.  Luckily, a squirrel had not tried to stuff it into his pouch and run off.  (I mean in his mouth…I know that squirrels are not marsupials…)

eggs

Our eggs this year turned a little day-glo.  I’m never happy with how our eggs turn out.  Perhaps because I’ve got this in mind:

eggs2

Am I setting the bar too high?  HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS????  Don’t tell me with some tiny little wax dropper…there’s no way.  Have you seen what the side of a candle looks like after it’s been lit for an hour?  That’s what I think of when I imagine dripping wax.  Seriously…how can I get these egg elves to come to my house???  Maybe the people who make these are the same people who do nail art????

nail art 4

Look at those tiny flowers!!!  It gets worse:

nail art 2

Three dimensional flowers…This person clearly does not cook.

nail art 3

Umm…is that real?  This person clearly does not eat.

nail art 5

No comment necessary.  This is not a person.

If ever my husband ever feels that I am not spending our money wisely, I’ll just show him this pic.  Is an electric can opener really the sign of a cultural apocalypse?  I think not.



My granny square strait jacket…
April 14, 2014, 10:17 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., sculpture | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Spring is here!  Time to frolic through the dead garden!  Mince through the muddy lawn!   Leap amongst the leafless trees!

In celebration of the GLORIOUS change in weather (it’s above freezing now…), I went to the ICA in Boston.

a-ica

Yes, I managed to stop scrubbing the kitchen floor long enough to make this visit.  (Ha ha!…just kidding, I never scrub the kitchen floor!!!)

I did see some sunshine for a brief period.  Luckily, I got a sunny-ish photo to prove that, yes, indeed…it isn’t snowing!

a-ica view

This sunshine didn’t last long, as you will see in subsequent photos.

ANYHOO…the reason I went was to see the AMAZING work by Nick Cave now on exhibit:

a-cave1

Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

He had three of these sculptures together.  They are so comical, and yet somehow regal as well…

a-cave1a

Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

THAT is a closeup of what is going on in that mass of beads/ornament/tchotchke-palooza.  CRAZY!

a-cave2

Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

This piece is four ENORMOUS panels of chaotic, antiquated, thrift store finery.

a-cave2a

Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

You’ll notice that there isn’t any plastic “junk.”  It’s mostly beads, metal ornaments, ceramic figurines of birds/fruit, and brightly colored afghans.  I think because of this palette, and because the items don’t appear broken or damaged, there is a certain refinement and respect for the materials.  While it does look haphazard, the figurines do have an orientation and are placed upright…the beads are draped and not wadded up/thrown on, so there is some order to the chaos.  HOW he managed to fix all of these things together with no apparent fasteners is VERY interesting.  They aren’t bound together as much as suspended somehow…

Okay, so that is his new work.  Mind-boggling, right?  Here is is older work, which he is more known for:

a-cave3

Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

a-cave3a

Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

a-cave4

Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

These “Soundsuits” are AMAZING.  Apparently, Cave created the first one in response to the Rodney King beatings.  “I built this sort of suit of armor, and by putting it on,  I realized that I could make a sound from moving in it,” Cave told the Washington Post.  “It made me think of ideas around protest, and how we should be a voice and speak louder,” Cave says.

These suits are beyond incredible.  The materials and excess are astounding…the fantastic manipulation of the human form is phenomenal…and the fact that they could actually be worn and in motion is superb.  See videos here and here for some of his other suits in action.  Cave is an Alvin Ailey trained dancer.  I LOVE the idea of these forms in motion. These photos are terrible in comparison to seeing them in person.  Their enormous size/height makes them overwhelming and mesmerizing.

Here are some close ups of the INSANE textures/colors/materials he used to make these:

a-cave5

Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

a-cave6

Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

a-cave7

Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

I LOOOVE THIS!  Pure genius.  I would LOOOVE to see one of his soundsuit performances!  I’m almost inspired to cover myself in handmade potholders and jump around the living room for an hour!  (Just kidding, that sounds too much like exercise…)  Someday, I fear that I may end up in a crocheted strait jacket made out of colorful granny squares…at least then I’ll have an excuse for not mopping…

a-ica inside

ANYWAY, I had a super fun time at the ICA.  After paying $15 for parking, I felt guilty about leaving.  Wasn’t there anything else that I could do in the area?  I decided no, and headed out.  Now, I am missing the navigational genes that most normal people have.  As a result, I rely heavily upon GPS to get me places.  I know…did I really need GPS to get home when I had JUST driven to the ICA from home a few hours ago????  Well, yes…yes I did.

Unfortunately, my GPS had a momentary lapse in usefulness:

a-gps

REALLY?  In order to get to Arlington from Boston I need to take a FERRY????  Why don’t I remember the ferry ride coming over here???  Is traffic really THAT bad that it makes sense for me to take a BOAT home instead???

Sigh.  I guess I’m not the only one that’s “navigationally” challenged around here.  No wonder why I get lost so often…

 




%d bloggers like this: