slightly wonky


Brrrrboohoohoo!
February 28, 2014, 2:02 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., Sewing | Tags: , , , , ,

“BRRRBOOHOOHOO” means that I’m getting VERY TIRED of the temperature around here.

I know.

11 degrees isn’t THAT bad.  But when the wind  blows, it IS cold enough to make one’s face ache, fall to the ground, and get lost in a snow drift.  I almost tripped on mine the other day.  We sort of missed out on warming up during February vacation, as we didn’t go anywhere.   I was delirious with kindergartener fatigue for that entire week.  I found myself staring vacantly at a spot on the wall while my son talked incessantly about: double inverted fishtail bracelets, how he needs more rubber bands, and why it’s better to stay inside all day and make bracelets instead of going outside for sledding and exercise.  Because my son is obsessed with Rainbow Loom, we have an explosion of colored rubber bands all over the house, in addition to all of the bracelets/charms/actions figures that he makes.  He keeps reminding me that I said that it is the “worst toy in the world,” which I mistakenly said when I was in a fit of frustration trying to help him with some rubber band disaster project.  I get a migraine just thinking about it.

Actually, those days at home were much easier than the days with playdates.  I yearned for a large margarita both during, and after, every playdate.  Thankfully…there weren’t many of them as MOST people were gone because they had gone somewhere to thaw out.  In our house, that’s standing in front of the toaster oven.

Let it be said that I am thankful that we have both a house and a toaster oven.

The vacation was a general success, though, as we did manage to get through it without Mommy falling ill with a case of the vapours.  I threatened to do so numerous times.  In order to cope, I also obsessed over my own crafty projects:

kostojohnquilt

THAT…is a stupendous baby quilt that I made for a friend.  I even sewed on a poem:

kostojohnquilt1

I know that I can post this without spoiling the surprise, as new mom’s don’t have time to get changed out of spit-up covered pajamas, never mind read my mindless blog!

NEXT PROJECT:

kostojohnbagfront

Yes.  I made that.  I followed a pattern that I found online, so I can’t take credit for the design…but I CAN take credit for the snazzy fabric choices!  I’m using it to keep my knitting in…(more craft addictions…pls send help!)

kostojohnbagback

Check out the super cool lining!   I nearly broke my sewing machine with this…so next time, I’m using lighter weight fabrics.  OR…I am going to get an industrial sewing machine, which I’ll set up in the middle of the dining room.  (JUST KIDDING, HONEEEEEY!!!)

Besides showing you my ridiculous crafts…I am also proud to say that some of my drawings have been included in the latest issue of New American Paintings.

new american paintings 1

nap2

nap3

WOO HOO!!!!  Yes, I draw AND make garish things out of fabric.  Maybe I need to start drawing the garish things that I make out of fabric?  Maybe not.  I should probably start with some overdue housework first…

Nah.

The drawings in New American Paintings are actually up at a new arts center in Dedham right now: Motherbrook Arts and Community Center.

overall

It’s great to be included in this show, as there are many really talented artists who are also participating.  I’m going to show you the work of just a couple of people…

corcelle

Christiane Corcelle, Square 27

This gorgeous print is part of a series that Corcelle has done.  She specializes in carborundum collagraph printmaking.  I have taken several classes with her, and she is also a great teacher.  I LOVE this whole series…the colors…the transparency…the textures.  Amazing.

wakefield1

Martha Wakefield, Slip #11

Wakefield is one of the co-curators of the show.  She has an entire series of paintings on slips.  In each one, the slip is almost floating down off of the canvas.  She really captures the lightness and hidden quality of these garments (or rather, undergarments…).   They don’t hang as if suspended from a hanger, but they are almost drifting away…slightly billowing to suggest the form of the wearer.  Beautiful!

williamson

Jeanne Williamson, Fence as Lace #7

Williamson is the other co-curator.  She describes her own work as: “Contemporary abstractions that combine grids from orange construction fences and rich textured mixed media surfaces.”  She has taken such a neglected part of our landscape: plastic construction fences, and transformed/re imagined them into compelling works of art.  I love the neutral palette with limited color. The dark textures almost seem to relate to the construction origins of the material, whereas the dots of color (and the title) relate to textiles/femininity.  

Go see the show, as it’s up until March 21.  Please feel free to buy one of my drawings too, as I know that you’d love to have a picture of me on your wall!!!!  I go with most decor, especially Chinoiserie.

Actually, I just need more funds for my craft addiction…and maybe some groceries too.



Groundhog grumpiness…
February 7, 2014, 9:46 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., textile forms | Tags: , , , , , ,

If this post seems grumpy, it’s just S.A.D.  Those of us in the Northeast embrace this seasonal grumpiness by complaining about the temperature, the snow, the temperature of the snow, shoveling, lack of parking, lack of daylight, lack of warmth, and the general fatigue and malaise induced by constantly having to spend half an hour putting on layers of clothes to go outside, and another half an hour taking them off when we come inside.   There’s also hat head and/or static electricity.

a-snow

Can we ship some of our snow to drought-ridden California?  I’d be more than happy to stuff some into a Tyvek envelope and send it over.

a-snow 2

This is what our deck furniture looked like during the blizzard on Wednesday.  Hmm.  I guess the cursed groundhog saw his shadow the day before. Evil creature! Vile vermin! (Maybe a groundhog can’t be vermin?  Too big???)  Speaking of groundhogs…LOOK WHAT MY SON MADE THIS WEEK AT SCHOOL:

a-groundhog

I might have to keep this FOREVER.  I assumed that this was a popsicle. I was told that this was not the case, and that this is obviously a groundhog.

a-hoghome

Oh.  That clears everything up.  I think that the background paper should have been white, not green, just for the sake of accuracy.  (Actually, I should think that at the current temperature outside, all groundhogs are kind of like popsicles, right?)  Please excuse my blurry image, but THERE ISN’T ENOUGH LIGHT in the dead of winter to take an indoor photo.

Tonight, I am going to the opening reception of a group show that I’m in.  It’s being held at the Motherbrook Arts Center in Dedham.  I’m looking forward to seeing the work of the other artists!

a-art

I may have to gear up my team of sled dogs to get over there.  I wonder if I can go through EZ Pass lane on the Mass Pike with sled dogs? Stopping to pick up a ticket will really slow me down.

a-sled dogs

Can I at least go in the carpool lane?  No?

Besides complaining about the snow and doing rainbow loom nonsense with my son, ad infinitum…I also finished up that little quilt that I was working on:

a-quilt

Kind of cute, right?  The back:

a-quiltback

Now that I look at it again…those scallop shapes are starting to look like groundhogs to me.

a-quilteyes

Hmm.  Maybe I need some fresh air?  I may have to put myself in a Tyvek envelope to be mailed to California…it’s warm there, right?  I’ll say “hi” to the California raisins for you…

 



Technicolor yawn
January 24, 2014, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., Sewing, textile forms | Tags: , , , , , ,

Where have I been???  What have I been doing???  Honestly…I have no idea.  I was SUPPOSED to post last week, but my beloved child was home with a fever.  We were all pretty much sick, and my husband is still on the mend.  DRAMA.

You know that it has been cold when 14 degrees Fahrenheit feels not so bad.  I’ve been wearing the same, over-sized wool sweater for what is likely a month.  I didn’t wear it today, as I had to meet with a museum curator…and I didn’t want to potentially offend her high aesthetic standards with my Sasquatch-like appearance.  How cold does it have to get for all standards of appearance to be eliminated in favor of comfort?  Clearly, that bar is never very high in my world.  I’m always wearing some kind of sad, D.I.Y. project.  It’s funny that after YEARS of being an architect, where we are trained (brainwashed?) to avoid color in favor of black, gray and white…my D.I.Y. projects are always crazy colorful.  I often think that my aesthetic sensibilities actually haven’t changed since I was seven years old, which is kind of sad…as I dressed kind of weird as a kid.  Things haven’t changed, I guess…

I finished up a knitting project recently:

a-front2

That’s the front…here is the back:

a-back2

Kind of neat, right?  I can’t take credit for the pattern…even though I changed the neckline…the cuffs…the length, etc.  This is not the sweater that I’ve been wearing for the past month.  The sweater that I’ve had on is more like a wool mu-mu.  This week, I realized why I can’t move somewhere warm…I’d have no reason to knit.

I’m totally serious.

You’re likely wondering when I’ll stop yammering about my technicolor craft projects, and move onto something more interesting.  Well, your wait is over!

My friend, Helen, has her work up at one of the well-known Boston galleries…

a-helenpayneHelen Payne, detail of installation “Here I Sit, Brokenhearted” at Bromfield Gallery, Boston

Here is the description of the installation:

An installation on bathroom tiles where drawings make visceral vignettes, showing moments ranging from giving birth to getting booked.  A shape-shifting protagonist emerges from the tiles. She morphs in time and race and limps along at odds with expectations but at one with viscera. 

“Here I Sit, Brokenhearted” is about the ill fit of the body and how our most private moments can play out in the public sphere.

Helen beautifully elucidates aspects of humanity (primarily vices and viscera) that are typically hidden.  Her work is both sensitive and bold.  Helen’s drawing fluency is as compelling as her chosen subjects.  Please check out her installation at Bromfield.  It will be up for a few months…but don’t procrastinate!  Go see it!  If you see something that looks kind of like Sasquatch at the gallery, come over and say, “hi.”  It’s probably me.

I’ve been sidetracked on a quilt project that I’ve been meaning to do for AGES.  Yes, I said “a quilt.”  Yes, I know that I’m supposed to be focusing on art, but as I just said…I’ve been getting a bit sidetracked as of late…

a-quiltSewing curves is challenging…so I decided to put myself in circle boot-camp by doing this koo koo quilt.  So far, it has been super fun…albeit a royal pain in the tush.  This is a mini-quilt…so the width is around 32″ or so.  Each of those little scallop shapes is probably 4″ wide.  In doing this quilt, I learned why people don’t normally use linen-type fabric for quilts (which I did.)  The weave of linen is so wide that it’s like trying to sew a piece of friggin’ GAUZE.

a-gauzeOkay, well not quite THAT bad…but almost that bad.  I fear that this quilt can never set foot in a washing machine, lest I want the thing to turn into a huge blob of colorful thread.  Kind of like this, but made out of thread:

a-fish

Do you know that’s actually a creature called a “blob fish?”  I kid you not.

Sigh.  I always have to learn things the hard way.  At least I can sew a half-decent circle now, in spite of the fact that I look like Sasquatch.

Speaking of blobs, did you read about that recent study that says that sitting too much will pretty much kill you???  WHA?  HOW?  WHO?  I have pretty much sat through my entire adult life.  Besides pulling all nighters at school and at work, where I was SUPPOSED to be sleeping but was just deliriously SITTING instead…all of my favorite hobbies and activities involve SITTING.  Can I possibly knit whilst hopping around?  Can I somehow read AND do jumping jacks?  How about sewing and yoga?  Quilting and Tae Bo?  No?

Upon hearing the bad news about sitting, I promptly slid down within my enormous wool sweater and pouted like that hideous blob fish.

a-fish5

Boo.

I’m waiting for the study to come out that says sedentary craft activities are actually good for everyone’s health because they keep mommy happy.  And we know what a maelstrom of discontent mommy can be when she’s NOT HAPPY…

a-fish4

Be thankful that you don’t live with me.

 



Languishing lasagna…

My current excuse for not having seen any new art is that it’s sweltering hot here.  I guess it’s going to be 97 deg F tomorrow with tons of humidity

I know…

It gets hotter in Texas…the Sahara Desert…the surface of the sun, etc.  But does it get hotter than the dark interior of my dark blue car????  Nooooo…I think not.   I’ve been feeling too lethargic to cook lately, and I’m wondering if there is some way that I can prepare dinner by cooking it IN MY CAR???  Fried eggs on the dashboard?  No, those aren’t vegan…damn!  Tofu pups instead?  What IS seitan anyway?  It looks like a wet, sweatsock turned inside out.  No?  Well, I hope that it doesn’t TASTE like that.  Anyhoo…as I can’t afford a real convection oven, or at least one that doesn’t have four wheels and an engine, I was thinking of possibly doing a lasagna.  Do you think that it would cook faster in the glove compartment, or on the dash?  Tough call.

So, I recently finished a drawing.  FINALLY.  I’ll show it to you in a minute, but before I do, I had to celebrate it’s completion by making a baby quilt.  My FIRST quilt…mind you.  Needless to say, the quilt is done, but the sewing machine is in the shop.  I think that I scared it half to death with my shoddy sewing skills.  The feed dogs won’t go up anymore.  I think that they’re either hiding, or on strike.

So, here’s the quilt!

a-quiltfront

I know.  It’s sooooo basic.  Hey, at least it’s a friggin’ rectangle.  This is machine quilted entirely.  I’m much too impatient to even remotely consider hand sewing.  Besides…the binding was hand sewn, and I nearly made a pincushion out of my left thumb with my incompetent needle handling (yes, I’ve heard of a thimble).  I can’t imagine doing a whole quilt.  (Patty, I bask in your quilting glory.)  I feel itchy to do another quilt!  Is that normal?  (Don’t answer that.)  Actually, as I am a mosquito and poison ivy magnet, I tend to be itchy in general.

The back:

a-quiltback

Super simple!

While I was working away on this thing, my son brought home one of HIS creations from camp.  Here it is:

a-rock

Do you know what that is?  No, it’s not vermin.  It’s a PET ROCK!!!  He proudly told me that it will require no feeding and care.  He also explained that after adding the first piece of brown fur, he felt that his rock was cold and needed the black fur as well.  It’s like a bad toupee…or if Donald Trump somehow found himself in the story of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.  Anyway, I love it and think that it’s hilarious.  I’m also a sucker for anything with googly eyes.

Speaking of googly eyes, after months of slaving over the minutiae of my drawing, it’s finished.

kostojohn

Nameless Problem #2, Elizabeth Kostojohn, 2013, colored pencil on mylar

Sorry for the glare…photography is not one of my strong suits…

No, I have not gone off the deep end.  I’m just expressing my domestic angst.  I’ve already started another one in this series, and I am seriously hoping that it does NOT take me months to complete.  I’m also hoping that I don’t decide to ever draw Doritos again.  Don’t get me wrong…they’re delicious and I love orange, but really

Okay, I will make a SERIOUS effort to see some art next week.  Until then, I’ll just have to wander around the yard in a heat induced stupor.  The hydrangeas are about the only things that haven’t completely shriveled up and died in this heat.

a-hyd

Speaking of withering neglect, my son correctly used the word “languish” in a sentence this week.  He’s five!  Well, he only get’s half credit…as after he commented on how our unused British pound coin will “languish”, he said, “What does ‘languish’ even mean?”  What does “languish” mean??? Just look at mommy trying to bake lasagna in the Toyota!!!  I’m glad that my culinary failings can prove useful by enriching my son’s developing vocabulary.  Next, I’m going to teach him, “exasperate”, “lethargy”, and “ennui…”



Mini-quilt madness
November 5, 2010, 1:44 pm
Filed under: Sewing | Tags: , , , ,

So, I have MOSTLY finished the mini-quilt.  What do you think?  I think that it needs something…messy, added to it.  I haven’t decided what, though.  So, in the meantime, I’m just going to leave it.  Let me just say that finishing this little thing was a serious effort, as my sewing machine was NOT cooperating.  Luckily, when I took it to Marie’s Sewing in Woburn, they were so helpful and got me back on track.  That machine is VERY temperamental/fussy/prone to pouting and refusing to work.  Much like me!  We’re a perfect fit!  Anyway, I’d like to keep going with the quilting.  Maybe if I make enough of these, I can join them into one big quilt.   Notice that I do not yet have the energy/gumption to make a big quilt in and of itself.  Someday…




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