slightly wonky


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:

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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…

 

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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!

 



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.



Elves and a snacking stupor…
March 14, 2014, 9:36 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , ,

My son gets angry every time I buy Cheez-its, because I eat the whole box myself.  (Gross, I know.)  Maybe they have MSG in them?  (Grosser.)  They’re VERY addictive.

I have recently discovered a new snack food to eat excessively:

pickles

I know.  Grossest.  Try them!  They’re not bad.  I still think that salt & vinegar are more tasty, but I had to try these.  I remember in Spain that they had some Lay’s chips that were flavored like a ham sandwich.  Now, THAT’S gross.  (BTW that bag isn’t empty…YET.)

I recently finished another crafty project…a quilted purse!

purse2purse1

It was pretty labor intensive.  I’m going to figure out a way to get small elves to work on these while I sleep at night.  I’m also going to ask the elves to clean the house, since they’re already up.  I’m thinking of opening up an Etsy store.  Any thoughts?  Suggestions?  Words of wisdom?  Are elves hard to find?  They can’t be THAT hard to find, as everyone else’s house is much neater than mine, so they must be using elves.

Please don’t have them take me away and put me in a padded cell.  While that might be good for napping, I’m sure that they wouldn’t give me any Cheez-its.

My son is always creating fearsome drawings:

drawing1He’s 24.

Just kidding.  He’s six.  I love the “v” shaped mono-brow that all of the faces have.  I’m hoping that this truly is supposed to be a monster, and not just me on Monday morning.  I haven’t gotten my eyebrows done in ages, so I have a sinking suspicion that this is actually me.  At least my legs look skinny.

I’ve gotten a bit of “press” as a result of being in New American Paintings.  I got to be the “artist of the day” for March 1 on this website.

artist a day 2

C’mon people!  I need votes!  I only have 28 votes so far.  You aren’t allowed to vote if you don’t give me a perfect score.  Okay, just kidding.  Make it at least NEAR perfect.  It makes me feel better about my imperfections, like my “housekeeping blindness” ailment.  Very troubling.

I also got some press in the latest issue of Artscope magazine.

artscopeRight now, this series of drawings is still up in Dedham at the Mother Brook Arts and Community Center.  Can someone pick up a copy of this for me?  I live in the ‘burbs, and I only know of one local place that has this journal.  Otherwise, I’ll have to schlep into Boston to get some.  Sigh.  Just going to Stop and Shop seems like a major hassle…don’t make me drive 30 minutes to get into Boston.  I’ll have to locate my “good” pair of mom jeans for that excursion.

I’ve recently starting ice skating on a regular basis.  I skated a lot as a kid (not gracefully, mind you) as we lived near a small pond.  I forgot how fun it is!  I hate exercising, so this is pretty much the only way to get me to move around a bit, other than telling me that a fresh box of Cheez-its are in the next room.  I’m even starting to dabble with ice hockey.  I’m pretty terrible, though…so patience is key.  Not falling on my face is generally important too.  I think that the years of playing field hockey is actually doing me a disservice.  I keep forgetting that I’m standing on two, skinny blades on a sheet of ice.  Hmm.

Speaking of ice, my hands are frozen into two claws.  I’m typing this in our unheated basement.  I’m going to stop now, thaw out my hands by sticking them in my husband’s leftover coffee, and then probably finish the bag of pickle potato chips.

THEN, I’ll move onto the box of Cheez-its…



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.



Stay the course!
March 22, 2012, 4:29 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., Sewing | Tags:

So, I met with my art advisor this week.  THANK GOODNESS.  I’ve been stressing about what OTHER brilliant thing I should be trying to do…(assuming that what I have been doing is brilliant).  After much discussion, it seems best for me to just continue with the series that I’ve been working on.  I hope that through this, a new direction will slowly emerge.  That, or I’m never going to want to see another pear in my life.

I got some postcards made of my work.  See?

That’s what the front of the card looks like…and the back:

Snazzy, huh?  I think that it turned out pretty well.  50 was the minimum quantity to print, so I’m going to have these hanging around the house for awhile.  I see a large house of cards in my future, or perhaps this is what I will send out as holiday cards this year…

In true fussy, or “binky”, fashion (as my friend used to call it)…I’ve created a rather elaborate routine chart for my four-year old.  I’m actually taking a parenting class now, and it’s our homework for the week.  This chart is supposed to let your kid take more responsibility for taking care of themselves in the morning.  Kind of like a sticker chart…but a little more “permanent”.  Check it out:

I know.  I have a problem.  Could it be any more fussy?  This is what happens when you let an architect do a project…it gets WAY fussy.  Naturally, I like it.  ANYWAY…each photo is supposed to show him what he’s supposed to do next, in order to get ready for school.  THEN, when he completes each task…he flips over his picture as such:

Seriously, though…don’t you think that I’m ON to something here??? (No, I didn’t say that I’m on something…pay attention)  I see a future etsy store selling these…although I’m not sure that I really want to make another one.  Therein lies the challenge of hand-crafted commodities…

I also have this notion that I’m going to sew a dress from a vague (not Vogue) pattern, which is completely in Japanese.  Basically…I had to hem two pairs of pants this week, and now I’m itching to sew.  Part of this is also just a general need to “make” things (as evidenced by the ridiculous routine chart above).  I love drawing…but I think that sometimes I have to switch gears and just MAKE STUFF.  Here is what the dress is supposed to look like…(the one on the left):

 

Cute, right?  Kind of summer-y and casual…note:  I am likely NOT the size of that diminutive Japanese woman in the photo.  No matter!  Here is what the pattern looks like:

That’s it…one page on the left.  Did I mention that I can read not an iota of Japanese?  Pshaw!  I like a challenge!  I also had to guess on fabric yardage.  I pray that what I have will be enough.  I wanted to get linen for the dress, but linen is SO EXPENSIVE.  I think that it was around $17/yard.  What???  I think that’s out of my budget.  So, I’m trying to make the “econo” version.  I am naturally concerned that this will look like an enormous tent on me, and I’ll have to chalk it up as another fail…but who cares.  I’ll make curtains out of it (LOTS of curtains), if needed.  Actually, I’m worried that when I’m done with it…I’ll look like some kind of birkenstock/hemp-wearing hippie.  That’s NOT the look that I’m after. 

If it looks only semi-bad, I’ll post a picture, ok???



Basement is done!!!
August 11, 2011, 3:06 pm
Filed under: painting, Sewing | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Yes.  I can’t believe it either.  After a year from the date that we first pulled the building permit, we finally got it signed off today.  The basement is DONE!  I am so excited to move ALL of my art-stuff down there.  FINALLY!!!!!  No more stacking tupperware containers of inks, papers, tools, etc. in the dining room!!!  Ahhh…I won’t know what to do with all of that space!  I have a sinking feeling, though, that I will quickly fill it up.  Hmm.  But why dwell on that now?  I may have to have a celebratory iced latte today.

I also FINALLY finished a house project that I have been planning on doing for practically a year as well.  I finally made a little curtain for our front door.  Yes, I know…not a big deal.  What is a curtain, anyway?  Just a rectangle of fabric, right?  Well, yes it is…and I finally did it.  Here it is:

I think that it looks great.  I love this fabric.  It’s kind of pricey…well, not Marimekko pricey, but a little expensive.  It’s actually from Japan.  I have some other fabric from this line as armrest covers on our hideous couches.  Nice!

Not much going on art-wise.  I took a stab at acrylic painting.  Not so good.  Luckily, I am taking a painting class this fall…so I should get some pointers!  I know.  Why have I spent the past year developing my printmaking knowledge, only to switch gears and start painting?  Because it’s ALL so fun!  So, I’m back to square one…learning how to paint.  I did take painting in high school…and I have had a watercolor class and an oil painting class since then.  Needless to say, I am at the bottom of the learning curve.  I hope that there is no where to go other than up.  Here they are on the wall:

I know.  Stop laughing.   Overall, they make me cringe…but there are ASPECTS of them that I like.  Here is a part that I like of the first one:

That’s kind of appealing.  I know…nothing earth-shattering.  Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Here is a closeup of the other one:

I’m happy with how the guy turned out.  The woman bothers me and has some issues.  This painting is based on an old photograph, so I can’t take any credit for the overall look to it…only the crude execution.  So, I am facing this challenge head on…I hope that by the end of the year, my acrylic painting skills will have developed.  If not…well…I don’t know what, if not.   Drown my sorrows in lattes…

[I may have to work on that woman some more…she’s really bothering me…]




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