Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tagged for Randomness.....

Don't I look all thoughtful? I've been tagged by Try To Catch the Wind and now I must give 6 random facts about myself. How about 6 current things about me?

1. Sunday evenings, I take Tango classes with my girlfriend.

2. Monday evenings, I take American Tribal Style belly dance classes. I can do downward belly rolls, and upwards ones, and flutters. I practice these while driving. I try not to make weird faces at the same time. I do not think my fluereos are very pretty despite rolling my fingers through the formations for four years now.

3. I like to perform drag once each season. Yes, that's getting onstage dressed as a man, lip synching a song or performing something witty. If you are lucky, I might show you a photo of me in drag sometime.

4. I get tired at 2pm each day and have my tea time and the occasional wee cat nap (WHEN I can catch it). I'm a pretty busy girl.

I'm constantly amused by just tiny little things. I'm starting to believe it's a good idea to share these fits of joviality with the blogging world because our planet needs to lighten up a little. And so far people have laughed with me not AT me.........

6. I think self portrait photography is fun. I started doing them out of necessity when photographing my crafts/art to put on etsy, with no one else handy in the studio. Or a sudden need to put a photo of myself on the blog.
Now I can get pretty good photos of myself without cutting my head off most the time...... I recommend that people, who don't like how they look in photos, grab a digital camera and some alone time and just snap a bunch of photos of yourself with camera at arm's length. Outside. (Bad ideas may include: using the flash on yourself, taking a close up of your nose, shooting upwards under one's belly)..... ok, now I have to go TEST these "bad" ideas and see how amusing they might turn out to be...... bye

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gocco Printing

Happy MOnday Everyone! It's another gorgeously sunny, crisp Autumn morning here in Oregon. The trees are in beautiful colors. Love this weather. My etsy store has been bustling with sales. Thanks shoppers! I love making my unique goodies for everyone, and it's wonderful when so many find happy homes.

Which do you prefer?

I'm creating a line of screen-printed coffee cozies.....Sneak peek at the newest design I'm working on. It's Nessy! The Lochness Monster, of course. I've had a lifelong fascination for her.

Creating a design with the Gocco machine starts with sketches, then the final drawing done is carbon ink. It's put into the machine, press the handle and BAM! The silk screen is etched! I have developed a method using loose screening by the yard rather than the premade frames. So I take my newly etched screen and frame it with duct tape. This holds the image flat for inking, and allows the entire thing to be washed in the sink (water based fabric paint of course).

Just like creating the new Zombie coffee cozy, I start with an idea of what color I'd like to print it in, but it doesn't always work. I've learned the contrast needs to be high, or you just can't see it. Sounds simple, but it's a process of auditioning ink with fabric.

I was in the studio for a few hours yesterday, the hens and kittens enjoying the sunny afternoon outside my open door. I experimented with screen printing on linen (for upcoming holiday ornaments), and working with this Nessy print. I wanted to put the image over stitched waves, but it didn't work for me. Get simpler. I wanted a nice bright water color, but not so busy it would interfere with viewing the image. Which do you like?

I've spent the last year learning about screen printing with a Gocco Machine, and falling in love with it. In the 80's almost every Japanese household had one to print their own cards, napkins, invitations, etc. They caught on in the US by the 90's and artists and calligraphers were putting them to all sorts of unusual uses.

Gocco Machines are somewhat expensive to get into and the supplies can be expensive. About $300 to get all set up. After wanting one for a year, I found mine at Goodwill for $23, then found simpler supplies to use. The good news is that the Gocco is so EASY to use for small paper or fabric projects. I am using prints more and more in the studio. The bad news is that after Dec, supplies will no longer be shipped to the US. The makers of Gocco have decided to move on to other technologies. I heard a rumor that the Martha Stewart company looked into making something similar and didn't find enough profit margin. And Gocco will be no more, but some other technology is bound to crop up.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Stardust wrist warmers on my etsy site.......

Last year, at this time, I posted many one of a kind monster mitts and wrist warmers with fun decorations, and people would write and ask me if I could make them a plain pair. Sure. So this season, I have a selection of solids to choose from on etsy, and am making and selling the decorated ones at the Indie art faires. That's going well, but I thought it wasn't quite FAIR for those folks who really need moster mitts, and fun designs..... so I'm posting a few. I'm noticing how many of my wrist warmers are getting planet names! First there was Interplanet Janet (so sorry to run out of that print!!), then Black Universe, STardust, View from the Moon..... and psst a secret.... ssshhh don't tell..... I have a series of planet themed coffee cozies coming out too. Does this mean I'm "looking at the big picture " in life? I'm inspired.

Love to all!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Sunday

We were having such a lovely Sunday, with blueberry pancakes, Mudslide Sydney's last soccer game of the season and trophy party, getting picked for this lovely chocolate treasury, selling my new zombie cozy three minutes after it was posted (personal record), and some much deserved free time, when a pitbull at the dog park got ahold of our labrador and tried removing his ears. After hours at the emergency vet, and some stitches and staples, his ears are still bleeding and he's home trying to navigate with a two foot wide funnel on his neck. We are really unhappy about the incident, but glad it wasn't worse. Poor pup. I won't be posting a photo of him today. Too sad. But he'll heal up fine.

Zombies vs Gnomes!

"Coffee For Brains" is my zombie season offering. I am more of a gnomes and sock monkies sort of person, but also enjoy monsters (the more original the better), have a life long love of Nessy (my new nessy design showing soon), and can easily amuse myself with Zombies.

What about Zombies who come up out of the ground for a fresh latte? I drew a graveyard where some "kind" soul has placed fresh coffee on all the graves, and our zombie is the first out. He looks so pleased to have coffee for brains.......

I ventured to my neighbor's fake graveyard for some fun shots of my zombie graveyard coffee cozy IN a graveyard. Thanks Melissa! And I noticed all the fine details in her decorating. She's glued on real moss and laid out fresh flower offerings!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Coffee House

These are my new art quilts. They are 8" high and stretched on a wooden frame, ready to hang, and feature a free-motion, quilted steaming mug. Coffee? Tea? What's your pleasure?

Back view.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hush-Hush Eye To Eye

Here's a story: I'm driving along a major street, in a long line of cars, and gently swerve to avoid a chunk of 2x4 in the road. Another chunk to drive around. Another. At the stop light, I glance at myself in the mirror and notice the woman behind me totally looking at me. I mean really looking. I smile. She just holds the eye contact with a relaxed look on her face, but doesn't smile back. I wonder. She keeps looking right into my eyes through the mirror. She's handsome and has an air of great self confidence. I don't know her, why is she staring? Maybe she's been reading all our car's bumper stickers like "Give Blood- Play Rugby" and such.

Green light. We drive on. More boards in the road and I can feel my brow fret as I spot big nails sticking out of the boards. Who lost all this crap on the road without noticing, anyway? I drop back from the car in front of me, so I have more viewing space of the road. All the cars ahead are gently swerving back and forth..... more debris. I glance in the mirror to check out how the woman behind me is doing. She's smiling! She's got a huge smile in fact! She's enjoying the obstacle course.

Ok. That inspires me to smile too. I turn up the radio and sing as I carefully swerve. Another red light, again, she purposefully smiles at me this time. I smile back, feeling a bit shy.

I crest a hill and look down.....the cars driving around boards look sort of poetic. A vehicular ballet. I'm singing "Too shy-de-shy, hush hush, eye to eye....." Do you know that 80's tune? I haven't heard it in so long, it's cracking me up to sing it. Rather non-sensical lyrics..."moving in circles once you dilate- try a little hard-er". I sing louder. The woman behind me is still smiling and watching the road. She's in her own little world. Now I see she's singing too. And she's singing what I'm singing! It freaks me out in a bad way just for a millisecond, till I realize: oh same radio station -- not some absurd twist of fate event about to unfold and later be made into a movie. Just the radio.

At the third stop light I make my move. I wait till she pulls to a stop behind me, THEN I start waving at her, smiling, and clearly singing, "Toooo SHY DE SHY!!" into the mirror, and bopping in my seat. She sees my moves and busts up laughing. She's greatly amused, as am I.

Fun with strangers has gained a whole new play level.

Eugene ETSY Street Team hits the streets!

Ooo, that sounds so..... gritty...... ok ok, we didn't actually HIT the streets, but we did a three day street faire at the UofO.

This is our second co-op booth this year. We learned so much last time, it was rather easy to put together this time around. We had one money system, and work shifts. We rearranged the booth each morning, which was fun. And we did very well.
Wanna see some photos?

One side of the booth.... wish you could see our groovy sign. I waited till it wasn't busy to take photos and didn't get one of our "Eugene etsy steet team" and "buy local, buy handmade" signs!

Customers filling out the propay. Does anyone else use propay? I highly recommend it for taking credit cards at a show like this. If you have an ETSY shop, let them know when you sign up and you get a lower price!

Full booth shot. That's me being silly in the green coat. It was COLD in the mornings!!!!!! It was lovely and sunny two of the three days. It's hard to tell from this shot, but we set up the booth to be an inviting walk through "U" shape, with lots of eye candy out front.

ThingsNStuff's really cute, and popular, upcycled wool hoodies.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Get Yer Gnomes Here - Eugene Etsy STreet Team

Hee hee hee! I just love gnomes. And I've finally gotten ahold of some lovely gnome fabric with this little guy. I added blueberry fabric, and stitched animal tracks. My personal favorite for fall.

I'm selling coffee cozies and wrist warmers at the University of Oregon Fall Street Faire this week. I got a 20 by 10 foot booth space this year for our Eugene Etsy Street Team. Our booth is so much FUN, come down and visit!!! We are located closer to the bookstore end of the street this time. We have Bullfight's awesome upcycled tshirt UNDIES, Practical Rabbit's popular screened shirts, ThingsNStuff's amazing one of a kind wool hoodies with gorgeous needle felted designs, and lined with recycled linnen. And more!!!

Sales were great yesterday. Slower today because the rain blew in. Tomorrow is supposed to be lovely, and sunny, so come on down! Lots of yummy food booths too. (Sorry, but I'm so glad not to be next to the kettle corn booth this time...... too many smells!).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fun with Hair

While it's not exactly a project one does with hair, as in felting, it's having fun directly on one's head. Very important sort of thing to do as we engage in all these serious political and economic issues. Important to lighten up and play a little.

I had my hair retextured and dyed!!! Went back to the hairdresser who gave me the sweet curly haircut in the first place, and they were having a two for one deal! Sure! We went for a very DARK red, just for fun, with fall setting in, it seemed like a fun color. It should rinse out in two months, so low maintenance.

Feels like rock star hair! I haven't changed my natural red hair color since being pregnant with Finn.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Meet YOur Maker Show

Meet Your Maker indie art/craft monthly show was last night from 5-8. The new location in the Broadway wine bar was great! Big windows to bee seen from outside, actual spotlights on our tables inside (!!!), a wine bar crowd, downtown AND during the first Friday Artwalk. Nice. As always, I'm happy to see artist friends and meet new ones.

Here's my new display. Max made this clothesline rack for me, and each cozy is labeled on the pin holding it. I put clips on the very top for whatever I wish to display. It's very different from my previous "coffee bar" display. I kinda missed that part, but wanted to really get my work vertical. And the wee dish of coffee beans did not impart the same aromatic impact as the whole coffee bar full of beads does. See all the wrist cozies?

Other vendors kept saying, "Nice rack!!!" I'd blush and gush, "Yea and it only cost me $15. Other girls have to pay $5000!"

Me sittin by my booth.....

See this blue guy? He's my actual Bliss Monkey. He hangs out in my studio as one of my muses. I found out at the show, I don't want people to touch him!! How would I know that ahead of time? Every time a kid came up, they wanted to touch him, pose him, arrange him. I was really uncomfortable with that. I thought I'd bring him in to show how much he LOVES the coffee cozies I made, esp the sock monkey one. The best I could say is, "Hey hon, you better leave him just as he is, my six year old spent a lot of time getting his pose JUST RIGHT". :-)

When it wasn't busy, I walked around with the camera. I always wish I had more photos of live events.......

Antennae Art's confident look. Her work is bold and unique! I got to model a gorgeous and large silver torc style necklace most the night.

This artist is Marlis. Sorry to notice only now that my flash obliterated her art. Perhaps you can click on the photo and see the tattoo she has of her own art! I love it.

I loved the Iconic art at the back of the wine bar there.......

A great night, lots of visitors, fun products and vendors, glad to be there, and wish I sold a bit more. The wrist cozies were going well but people didn't seem to think they needed to have the coffee cozies. I can't imagine!!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Do Not Inivte a Hobo To Breakfast

The kids have today off school, we are all hanging out, it's cozy inside and the first rainy day in awhile outside. I've defrosted blueberry pancakes (extras from last weekend's cooking) and made cheesey scrambled eggies, fresh mug of coffee. Everyone sits down to eat....mmmm.... I pop the rubber band off the newspaper and screeeeeaaaaaaaammmmm. Eeeeah! A large male hobo spider has been dumped out from the rolled paper and is standing on the table. Huge and harry and poisonous. I am a total spider wimp. I vacuum him up, and have to scream some more because he's running his large body across my dining room table as I chase with running vacuum. Do not invite a hobo to breakfast.

Still shaking I sit down and try to find that inner bliss I was enjoying moments before, only to find the paper is missing the comics section. Reading about Palin is also not a nice accompaniment to my breakfast........

FYI if you life in HObo country, this is what the male looks like. The female has larger abdomen. If she's got stripy legs, then she's a "false hobo" like the large girl I host in my art studio. She's got a lovely big web and I enjoy her company as long as she stays put near the far window.

This time of year, male hobo spiders are coming inside looking for females. See those big black things in front? Fangs? Nope. Genitalia. They make funnel webs, don't see well and have to attack prey to eat, so......... yuck. OK. Just yuck. See? I've lost my ability to be rational and scientific. They are huge and hairy and gross me out. The bite is bad. I hear.

Ok, deep breathing.

I DO NOT ADVOCATE THE KILLING of non poisonous spiders. I carry them outside nicely in a jar. I love spiders really just not anywhere near me. I appreciate them. They have an important job to do. Nuff said.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Meet Your Maker Show Tomorrow!!!

Meet Your Maker Indie Craft show is TOMORROW (Friday).
New location: Broadway market - yes, the wine bar will be open. Please note this is not the whine bar. I'm excited to report we are on the same night as the downtown art walk!
Same time: 5-8 pm.
What new: The premiere of my new coffee cozy designs, and get the first pick of the season's new wrist cozies. Many are one of a kind.

Yey Blogger allowed me to upload photos once again!!! Thanks for all the luv today, everyone. How I've missed ya. Happy Jewish New Year! And welcome to the new baby sprout (you know who you are, sweet lil sticky bun).

Max's lovely challa loaf.

testing testing... tap tap tap!

Dear Blogger, do you still love me? You haven't allowed me to upload anything in over a week. Can I load this and update my pals later today? Can I huh? Can I? Can I?

xoxo always