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

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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!

 



That might cost extra…
September 19, 2014, 9:37 am
Filed under: Sewing | Tags: , , , , ,

I am SO happy to have time to work again! I’ve scurried around my basement studio space furiously trying to clean in up in order to be more productive. It’s better…I’ve got sort of an “organized hoarder” set up. I keep fantasizing about living in a more “minimal” way, but then all of the things that I like to do are the OPPOSITE of minimal: sewing, knitting, drawing, painting, ice hockey. Why can’t I be more cerebral? Oh well.

Is it time for lunch yet?

I recently finished making a cute bag:

new bag

The entire purpose of making this bag is to sell it.  Unfortunately, I kind of want to keep it.  SIGH.  This is a problem that I have often.  The inside:

new bag inside

See!  I even made a little pocket inside with a fabric label on it!!!

new bag detail

I love the little wood bead zipper pulls. How can I possibly sell this?  On that note, I’ve started trying to cobble together an Etsy store.  It’s a lot of work!!!!  I’ll let you know if I ever get it up and running.  How much should I sell this bag for?  $1K?  $2K?  Just kidding…sigh.  If you say $20, I shall give you a good whack with a knitting needle.  It’s HAND MADE…for goodness sake.  You can’t get that at Old Navy!  Hmm.  Maybe they have cooler stuff at Old Navy?  Oh well.

Remember that silk chiffon top that I mentioned in a previous post?  I finished that too!  It nearly killed me.  I vow NEVER EVER to work with that fabric again.  It’s worse than silk charmeuse…it’s like trying to sew cotton candy.   Here it is:

a-blouse1

Sorry about it being wrinkly.  I wore it, but couldn’t be bothered to iron it for the photo.  I love it!  It was a royal pain to make, though…

a-blouse2

Don’t you like the cool layering effect?  No?  Too bad! If anyone has any helpful sewing tips for chiffon, besides finding someone more skilled to do it for me, please let me know.

Does anyone out there in cyberspace have an Etsy store?  Or, do you shop on Etsy?  If so, what do you think of these product photos?  Are they nice, or shoddy?  I still haven’t found an available super model to photograph with these items.  I realize that deficiency may result in fewer sales.  I don’t really want to put MYSELF in the photos, as that will GUARANTEE lower sales.  Hmm.  Seriously…photo feedback appreciated.

Speaking of photos…my son is having his school photo taken on Monday.  I have to select the background that they will use.  I have a choice of: corpse grey, two choices of electric blue, electric purple, smouldering ember orange, and sooty emerald green.  Not great.  I still can’t figure out which is the least hideous.  Why can’t the kids stand in front of a leafy bush, or something natural?

photo colors

Which would you pick?  Ech.  I’m worried about choosing the blue, as my son has a lot of blue shirts.  His photo would end up looking like a floating head if his shirt matched the background…also not good.  Maybe the gray???  I wonder if they can photoshop in a smile, as my son tends to scowl at cameras?  That might cost extra.  He also needs a haircut, but photoshopping in that will probably cost more than the haircut.

We seriously need to find a new place to get his hair cut.  The place we go is SO SLOW, and it pains me to even contemplate taking him for a haircut.  We ALWAYS have to wait somewhere between 1-2 hours until it’s our turn.  Haven’t they heard of APPOINTMENTS???  Why can’t I schedule a time to be there so that I don’t have to try to entertain a six year old for two hours in a barber shop?  Nightmare.  They do a good haircut, though.

Okay, I’m off to try to do something remotely useful.  I’m not sure what that is yet, but I’m sure that it will come to me.  If you know of any places to get a good kid’s haircut THAT TAKES APPOINTMENTS near Arlington MA, let me know.  And, no, a Flowbee is not an acceptable alternative.

flowbee



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.

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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…

 



Me WOOOT
June 9, 2014, 9:55 am
Filed under: Drawing, Sewing | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The school year is wrapping up, and I’m in panic mode thinking about what I’m going to do with my son before his camp begins.  I know that letting him eat candy all day whilst watching cartoons is NOT an option.  Hmm.  I also know that joining him to play Godzilla with his toys is also NOT an option, unless I want to go completely koo koo and wind up institutionalized.  I don’t do “imaginative play” with figurines well.  I don’t know why.  I can’t do it.  Build with blocks…yep.   Draw with markers…yep.  Action figures…nope.  Can’t do it.  I always end up doing something silly/hilarious, which makes my son mad.  Play is serious business!  I can’t play with action figures in a serious manner.  I just can’t.

In order to try to get some art exposure before the dreaded post-school/pre-camp weeks arrive, I went with a friend to First Friday in Boston.  We always have a good time checking out what the galleries have up.  We have an even better time getting the required “post-gallery-beer,” but I digress…  Barbara Moody, our studio critic for the A.P.T. program, had an opening that night at Kingston Gallery.  It was great to see her and her new work!  This is an image from the Kingston Gallery website:

a-moody1

Barbara Moody at Kingston Gallery

She creates wild landscapes that overrun fragments of architecture.  I love the color palette!  I love the marks, the layering, and the overall energy and vitality!  She also has a series of very small works that are bold collages of imagined landscapes.  Those were also wonderful.  Go see this show, as it will close on June 29.

We stopped by Steven Zevitas Gallery and saw the work of Ann Toebbe.

a-toebbe2

Anne Toebbe at Steven Zevitas Gallery

I loved her work!  She creates these flattened out domestic interiors from collaged paper.  Each one made you wonder who’s room it was, and whether they were all from the same house, or different houses…

a-toebbe1

 Anne Toebbe at Steven Zevitas Gallery

Aren’t these great????  My photos are terrible, so you have to go and see it for yourself.  Her work will be up until July 5.  Go see.  Now.

We also caught the work of Joe Fig at Carroll and Sons.  Joe Fig wrote a great book, Inside the Painter’s Studio, where he interviewed famous artists and then recreated their studios in miniature.  LOVE IT.  Here is what Leonardo Drew‘s studio must look like:

a-fig

Joe Fig at Carroll and Sons

It’s hard to appreciate the detail of Fig’s work.  Here is a bit of a close up:

a-fig2

Joe Fig at Carroll and Sons

This is TINY.  Can you believe it???  Look at the messy paint cans!  Look at the extension cords!  HOW DOES HE DO IT???  Anyway…I have his book, so I was thrilled to finally see on of his works in person.  I also love Leonardo Drew, so it was cool to have a peek into his world, even though it’s mini.  I really could have looked at this for hours, but then I didn’t want to get too many nose marks on the plexiglass case.  I should show this to my husband just to prove to him that I’m not the only messy person on the planet.  Joe Fig would rather eat one of his models than have to recreate my household chaos in miniature.

Besides making nose marks on plexiglass, I haven’t been up to much lately…except for THIS…CHECK IT OUT!!!

a-juki

WOO HOOOOO!  Yes, that’s a friggin’ SERGER!  Mwahahahahh…I’m sooooo excited.  Now, I plan to dash off shoddily made items with reckless and foolhardy speed.  1,500 stitches per minute!  Imagine what kind of trouble I can get into!!!  Here’s my first serger project:

a-shirt1

I know…I know…I should have ironed it…but remember?  I’m ironing-challenged!  I love this day-glo tomato color.  Side view:

a-shirt2

I look like I’m falling over.  Hmm…probably had the camera crooked.  ANYWAY…notice the ruching at the side seam????  My first time trying that out…it turned out okay!  Because this isn’t Vogue magazine, I didn’t Photoshop my backside to make it smaller.  If so, I would have posted this:

a-shirt2skinny

Don’t I look more skinny?  Ahh…the alchemy of Photoshop!  I hope that they incorporate that feature into the new Google glasses.  That way, everyone would look as they would like.  Kind of like beer goggles…but different.  I think that I’d make myself look like Zooey Deschanel, even though that change would be pretty traumatizing if someone took off their glasses.  Oh well.

 

a-shirt3

Not bad, right????  The pattern is one I drew up based upon I shirt that I already have.  I suppose that’s cheating, right?  The whole thing is so simple that it doesn’t seem like THAT original of a design…hmmm.  I’m a long way from Project Runway…especially as they would spit upon my serger.  BUT WHO CARES????  I love it. It’s “quick and dirty” sewing.  Actually, based upon my housekeeping skills, mine is mostly “dirty”…

So, my husband recently discovered the work of Hombre_McSteez.  He does AMAZING animations on acetate(?) held in front of some actual scene.  Please watch THIS VIDEO on Youtube to see some of his stuff…

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Hombre McSteez on Youtube

You also have to see his instagram feed…HERE.

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Hombre McSteez on Instagram

You’ll never look at a green bean the same way again.  At my house now, we all can’t stop saying, “I am a plant!”  or “Me WOOT!”

My parting words for today are: Me WOOOT!!!  Discuss amongst yourselves…

 



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:

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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?”




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