Thursday, May 28, 2009

Papercraft parakeet

I printed this out a week ago but just now got around to assembling it. The template came from Canon's Creative Park site where there is an astounding array of other things you can make from paper. This took a while to cut out and put together but wasn't terribly difficult and was a lot of fun. I'm amazed by the detail on it!

Big and chunky

It's true that this once-a-week is harder than I thought, and that isn't helped by having my camera out of commission for too many days.
All that whining aside, I managed to get one picture of this big, earthy, chunky necklace that I actually made a couple of weeks ago (is that cheating, to use a piece not made in the week in question?). The jasper nuggets in neutral shades are big, big, big, the colors of a cloudy day leavened by striations of golden yellow in the focal nugget. This one got a lot of attention the one time I wore it to see if it worked.
I think I'll make more of these for the fall.

Perfumed flower bracelet -- small but sweet idea

It turns out that if you sit in a playground full of kindergartners and knit or crochet, inevitably you will attract a crowd of big-eyed onlookers.

Earth Cup owner Natasa put in an order for coffee cup sleeves and I was making crocheted flowers to embellish them. My preschooler and her classmates discovered my flower stash and spontaneously decided to tie them around their wrists as bracelets and offer them up to teacher Lisa Horowitz to sniff ("Smell my pretty flower!"). Ms. Lisa suggested that the flowers could be spritzed with perfume and then they really would smell nice. Genius. We sprayed a light grapefruit scent onto my kid's and she's pleased. I suppose essential oils would do well, too.

Here's my kid wearing her "coffee" (er, steamed milk) sleeve as a bracelet, and a friend wearing her flower.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Book Page Bunting

book page bunting!
I spent most of the day today planning for the Art Star Craft Bazaar coming up this weekend. I participated in the first sale of the season over a month ago and I felt unprepared and frazzled, but it was a push in the right direction for how to handle the rest of the season. I organized my goods, set up my table displays, added some new fixtures, made a booth sign, and created this decorative bunting made of book pages!

If any of you are going to be at Art Star this weekend, stop by my booth and say hello!

Hula Hooping

I've been crocheting up a storm lately, working on another teddy bear and a doll. I just need to stitch up the pieces and finish up a few more small things. But this wk's picture shows something else I've been working on...though it's blurry. I'm trying to learn to hula hoop. I know, you're probably thinking *everyone* knows how already? Not so. Out of a few hundred tries I've only successfully hula hooped about 4 or 5 I'm just going to keep working at it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Collage in progress- Roots

Wow, this posting once a week thing is harder than I thought! I'm supposed to post on Mondays but somehow the evenings keep getting away from me.

Last week I was trying to work on these large paper collages, but wasn't happy with any of them. I found some leftover 5x7 glass clip frames, and decided to tear down the larger collages and see if they would work cropped to a smaller size. It worked out really well for most of them. I have found that if I get to a place where I'm just totally stuck on something it's time to try something radically different!

New Skills = New Product

Soooooo, that whole once a week post kinda got lost as I was preparing for the Maryland Faerie Festival. I have tons of stuff to show, just no time to do it!
A few weeks ago I talked my mom into teaching me how to solder, as in stained glass. I've done jewelry soldering with an acetylene torch, but this was a new kind of animal. My idea was to created glass-based wands with semi precious stones. My apprentice effort resulted in the following:
The shaft is a black 12-13mm dia. moretti glass rod. The stones include two large quartz points - one on each end, a baroque labradorite cabochon with wonderful shiller (the blue flashes), and a collection of tumbled quartz and hematite. It was composed with silver back copper foil and lead free solder holds it all together. This is a solid construction and weight more than it looks like it should. As my very first soldering project, I am quite pleased with the way it turned out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I don't want to give this one away!

My brother asked me to make a coral necklace for a friend and now that I made it I want to keep it. But there are more coral beads and wonderful pendants out there, so I guess I'll just have to keep making, right?

Monday, May 18, 2009


Originally uploaded by 7727-1

Thursday, May 14, 2009


A new collage. The tree is a Gocco print I made a while ago on a computer punch card. I wasn't happy with the prints just on their own, so I'm going to try incorporating them into different collages or books. I added some pen, paint, and paper to this one.

Work in Progress: Crocheted Character

Of the people who know me, those who know me the best know I am obsessed. Obsessed with mummers. And muppets. One day, I hope to reach the point where this love will reach a culmination, through my creations. I'm not talking mimicry, I'm talking unique, never seen before, my very own creations. I'm not there yet...though I have quite an assortment of plushies under my belt. Until that day, I will keep fiddling...and creating.

Knitted coffee cup sleeve

Today I offer thanks for coffee, the merciful potion that blesses me with the clarity to be present for my children. The best in Philadelphia is from Earth Cup at 45th and Pine streets. Owner Natasa (pronounced NAH-tasha, with the stress on the first syllable, like "Anthony" or "Jennifer") has concocted an eponymous house blend that I once compared to a giant bell that hits all the notes, resounding and stately and deep. The americano, too, is worth a trip for its own sake, not the strange apology of a drink you might find elsewhere, but an intriguing, sultry brew.

No ordinary yarn would do for the cup sleeve for this sacred nectar. At the Spruce Hill May Fair in Clark Park, I found this playful "Sparkle and Fade Fuchsia" metallic merino from String Theory, a West Philadelphia fiber artist who hand-spins and hand-dyes her own yarns. (She brought her spinning wheel to the fair!) Quite rightly, her yarns are not cheap, so I splurged on a hank and promised myself to save it only for the most special projects.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What's the Story, Morning Glory?

When I was four years old I became obsessed with growing things. My first foray into gardening was an experiment with navy beans; they grew so fast I was afraid of them so my Mom took them out of my room.

My second planting was much more “successful”. I took several packs of morning glory seeds and scattered them all over our yard and the lawns of the houses on either side of us. No-one realized what I had done until the tell-tale heart-shaped leaves appeared. That summer the morning glories covered all three yards in a "Heavenly Blue" tangle (and because they are self-seeding, they were persistent for years after). Our neighbors were not amused, but my Mother never let them yell at me. Instead, she taught me about boundaries, respecting people's property, and of course weeding.

All these years later, when we’re out and about and see a wall or fence covered in morning glory vines, my Mom giggles. I took this photo last summer and saved it to frame as one of this year’s Mother’s Day gifts. This week I didn’t make a piece of art or a concrete thing, I made my Mom laugh.

The photo was taken in natural light with a FujiFilm FinePix A201.

Art Party!

A good friend/artist/poet/maker and I hosted an Art Party last night! We invited a few of our fellow maker friends to share and create collaborative pieces. It was pretty easy to get everyone going with the plethora of materials we collected - everything from printed materials (textbooks, vintage gay porn, magazines) to thread, sequins, markers, some image transfers... all in all, it was inspiring and FUN.

art party!

I've uploaded a few shots of completed pieces to my flickr page, but I must warn you that some of the images are not safe for work (NSWF)! ;)

Making and making and making

I've been creating new stuff like crazy in anticipation of a couple of upcoming shows, and I feel good about the delight I experience in the making.
I'll try to keep up with this blog because it looks like a great way to keep the imaginative juices flowing.
Wow, there are so many great artists out there!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

All About Bibs

Like Leah, my posting has fallen by the wayside in this sprint to the finish for Art Star. I am sewing everyday, but mostly more of the same. The last couple days, though, have been all about bibs. Older infant and toddler bibs good for messes of yogurt and such.

Reversible bibs with strong snaps they can't undo themselves. Lined with quilt batting to absorb the spills and drool. Yum!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Strange Plants, A Collage

I like making imaginary plants by combining old botanical illustrations.

Unplanned Plans

Oh no! I almost completely let my posting fall by the wayside these past few weeks. This thing called life kind of got in the way of making (have you heard of this happening before, anyone??)...

Sarcasm aside, I've been busy busy busy making things for my Etsy shop and for Art Star Craft Bazaar at the end of the month. I wanted to take some time and refocus on art-making instead of craft-making lately so I have been reworking and fiddling around in my sketchbook/on random book pages a lot lately. Here's my latest, india ink on found book page...

perfectly stupid

Sunday, May 3, 2009

On teaching myself to knit (Harry Potter-themed scarf)

In preparation for the talks I'm giving at a Harry Potter conference this summer, I've been delivering shorter talks at Potterdelphia's monthly meetings, including April's about reading the series as the mother of a one-year-old.

I've also given in to the knitting craze that is widespread throughout Potter fandom. Knitting is mentioned frequently in the books, and many fans knit scarves, socks, and sweaters such as the ones that appear in the series. I decided to teach myself knitting through such a scarf, in queer-themed rainbow colors, the whole 10" x 70" length in garter stitch for discipline and practice.

As human nature would have it, I quickly lost interest in unvarying garter stitch. Sort of reminded me of being 7 years old and having to play interminable Hanon finger exercises every day before anything melodic or fun. Once I gave myself permission to experiment with different stitches, my speed and eagerness picked up dramatically. I kept wanting to do another row, and another, to see how the pattern would resolve.

I thought, oh, this is like writing. Word by word, stitch by stitch, line by line, patiently, until the motifs come around and build on each other and repeat until you can see the picture, and whether it works. I never thought this in my 19 years of quiltmaking because quiltmaking isn't linear. The construction of quilts is always modular, with lots of diagonal thinking, even if what you're making involves rows. You can work on something for a long time and then have a sudden moment when the project moves into the next phase, all comes together, pays off. But working a rectangular scarf row by row is a lot more like writing a story.

Red Cyclops Monster

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pigeons and Rainbows

In most cities pigeons are despised, but they are truly amazing creatures. Pigeons are smart, sweet birds that engage in monogamous relationships and take equal responsibility for sitting on their eggs and feeding and raising their young. They are social birds and live in flocks that usually encompass several generations of a family.

When I took this photo I was actually shooting the rainbow. In my old neighborhood I only saw rainbows a few times a year, but now I see them a few times a month. I believe it’s because my house is close to the Delaware River so there’s always a lot of moisture in the air.

This particular rainbow was a double, but the second one faded as I was taking the picture. Still, this is my favorite shot because of the pigeons. I was pleasantly surprised to catch them in flight, especially since I have an inexpensive 2.0 megapixel camera. The pigeon on the left reminds me of an angel.