slightly wonky


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…]



Slight improvement
December 16, 2010, 8:07 pm
Filed under: Felting, printmaking | Tags: , , , , , , ,

So, I finished the lino prints last night.  I added the third color.  You can see it below:

I think that it turned out pretty well.  I did manage to jab my thumb with the tool used to cut the linoleum.  I know…cut AWAY from yourself.  My thumb didn’t seem to be anywhere near where I was working, but my hand slipped.  I need to get some of those oyster shucking gloves.  Or, I just need to pay more attention.

I also worked on a fabric composition:

and a detail:

This is a bunch of different fabrics/yarns, etc merged into one fabric through needle felting.  You basically use a barbed needle to poke through the layers, and fuse them together.  It’s pretty interesting how different fabrics behave when felted like this.  I have no idea what I’m doing with this thing, but I’m just going to keep adding to it.

I also made two tiny little books!  Here they are:

Aren’t they so cute?  There are only twelve pages in each book.  I got this little kit from the local art store to make them.  I’ve never made/bound a book before, but it was surprisingly fun!  Somehow, it never seemed very interesting to me.  Okay…a blank book…yawn.  But, when you make it yourself, It’s so fascinating how it all comes together in such an intelligent manner.  This wasn’t even any type of fancy binding, but they still turned out well.  Hmm… I may make more of these.  I have no idea why I would need a collection of tiny books with only twelve blank pages, but I’ll find some purpose.  Grocery lists?  Profound thoughts? (hmm…no, I want to USE these books)  Maybe I’ll just keep them as mini sketchbooks, to draw tiny things in.  Any other suggestions?  🙂



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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