Archive for September, 2007

Mail art from Cascadia Artpost

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

A postcard from Cascadia Artpost was included in the bundle of mail i picked up yesterday. The postcard is an image in blue golds and purples of North Dakota titled “Stormy Season” with a day of issue postmark on a beautiful storm cloud artistamp and a complementary panther USPS stamp. A quotation of Tennyson is in the clouds of another stormy landscape image on the reverse.

Thanks for the postal joy!

No DVD November

Friday, September 28th, 2007

So, to promote making things instead of watching things, Christine and i will have a no DVD November, an echo of our no TV November some years ago. When that November was over, we didn’t miss the TV at all. Netflix and streaming video have taken TV’s place in a very satisfactory way. But, still, the temptation to just huddle around the video hearth in the onset of winter is very strong. Since we have an actual hearth, we plan to have a nice fire in the fireplace and work on our fiber arts and *listen* to things. We might check out Butlerian Jihad an audio novel we started but have not finished. (I plot. One of us could check it out and the other could put it on hold. We might finish someday that way.) Or we might let Christine come up with audio programming from the extensive audio library….

Crochet and other altered dresses: babydoll or empire bodice research

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

This was going to be a longer post, but i ended up posting it as a query to a Crochet Me forum.

Crochet and the altered dress: step 1

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I came home last night and promptly began cutting up a dress that doesn’t fit me anymore. Equal parts shrinkage and weight gain, i suspect, compounded by the original bad cut of the dress. When i actually examined the dress, i determined it wasn’t quite as shapeless in its fashioning as i recalled: there were princess seam darts and a teensy weensy dart under the arm pit. I will add a real dart. The fact that that will leave more gappage in the front is fine. My plan is to crochet some gores in the front and sides to give more ease and some flair. I haven’t decided whether i will shorten the dress. If i really wanted to make the dress fit, i’d have to adjust for my rather wide but very sloping shoulders. However, this is a practice dress compounded by the fact i’ve no idea where i would wear it. The laundry in the complex?

I did cut away the modest neckline to make an exaggerated sweetheart neckline. I did a button hole stitch around my raw edges and have half completed a single crochet base chain around the entire neckline. I imagine creating a bit of a lace infill so the neckline is a little more modest while retaining the flirty curves. That lace infill will transition to a tighter crochet stitch and continue down the front of the dress as a gently widening panel, replacing the button front.

Once i open the side seams to make the bust-line darts, i’ll create similar panels down the side. I think this essentially adding gores to the skirt part of the dress. And i think i’ll move the buttons to the side. I’ve a dress with a side zipper and i love that fit. I probably even have a long zipper in my sewing stash, but reusing the buttons and crocheting the button holes appeals to me.

So, this project should take me a small eternity, and who knows, maybe by the time i finish one of my nephews (currently aged 3, 1, and 9 months) will have a sweetheart who will like to wear it. And then there’s the small problem that i don’t know how to do any of this. Whee!

Meanwhile, i’ve posted a call for pattern help for altering some other dresses.

crochet,altered dress,red calico altered dress

Glue-to Books Instruction

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Jenn Hollowell has written up her instructions on how to make glue-to books at this eHow page. It seems like a good introduction to bookbinding. I’ll admit that having a simple inexpensive “canvas” like this has freed me to doodle with ephemera when, previously, i’d just collect waiting for the time to have the layout match the quality of the base. Now i can practice practice practice.

Popular Library Mail Art

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

From Lezbag, via CraftyPod:

I send and receive mail art and I especially like birds. Send mail art to: lezbag, 11412 NE Siskiyou St., Portland, OR 97220, USA; email: lezbag at NEW MAIL ART CALL Multnomah County Library is sponsoring a Mail Art Exhibit. Theme: Library; Deadline: 30 November 2007; Size: Postcard; Technique: any. Popular Library Mail Art, Multnomah County Central Library, 801 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97204 USA. The exhibit will be displayed in Central Library, Portland, Oregon, USA in January 2008. Documentation to be determined.

This may be the perfect opportunity to address some of the retired card catalog cards from Cartalog.
mail art

For the Ephemeral Mailbox Museum

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

For the Ephemeral Mailbox Museum

Originally uploaded by Elaine with Grey Cats.

A quick doodle last night, with the text “Heading home from her morning walk in the hills/she noticed something wrong… well simply different in the tree.” UPDATE: Bah! The orientation of the card is wrong for the call!

I have to admit, i don’t like the pens i bought very much. I’m not sure what possessed me to buy a pack of 12 highlighters. (Bright shiny!) The “summer” color sharpies don’t appeal to me that much either.

I think this is my first use of the Buk stamp*, and the brown ink seemed to work nicely. My rather generic blue ink pad seems to have dried out. I should verify that it’s the only one before replacing.

Anyhow, mail art, first in a bit of a long while, i think. Off it goes to The Ephemeral Mailbox Museum.

I also note that i’ve been using my little glue-to book extensively, stuffing it with the ephemera i’d usually collect and then stuff in bits and places. It seems a much more liberating way to deal with the archiving and documenting instinct.

* The Buk (Charles Bukowski) portrait was produced by Ready-Made Rubber, P O Box, Downieville, CA, 95936 I believe the art is by Rick Geary.

mail art, glue-to books

Incoming Mail

Friday, September 21st, 2007

(Happy me, i just bought some interesting cardstock almost perfect for postcards)

Incoming Mail
Media: mail art postcards
Size: 6″ x 4″ or smaller – must be vertically oriented.
Documentation: a full color zine will be created following the show with the art postcards sent in and some other items from the show, and every participant will receive one!
Photos of the exhibit sent before the zine is published. Please include your postal address.
Deadline to be received: October 2, 2007

The Ephemeral Mailbox Museum
c/o Morgan Lane Gallery
1603 Morgan Lane
Austin, TX 78704 USA

Crochet strap for necktie strip project

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Crochet strap

Originally uploaded by Elaine with Grey Cats.

I have a long stalled project that required neckties — and so i have a remarkable stash of neckties available to me without risking the needs of the long stalled project.

I had an idea of crocheting a computer bag using neckties as a significant part of the structure and material. First, i’d need to make a test bag, and this strap is the beginning of the test bag.

It’s 28″ long, single crochet six stiches wide, then a long single crochet stitch edge, then little loops of five chains long slip stitched (roughly) every three stitches. The goal is to use this as the “base chain” for a much more bulky crochet of fabric strips from neck ties on the same carrier yarn. There are 72 loops on each side.

Most of the stitching has been done during landings and take offs, with a little bit while watching DVDs and during Meeting for Business. Yarn: Royale Classic Crochet Thread, size 10, Coats & Clark, Color 0486 (NAvy), 350 yds.


Glue-to Books*

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Nature book, first entry

Originally uploaded by Elaine with Grey Cats.

Several weekends ago i went on a bit of a binge and managed to make three small hand bound booklets. They are not fine exemplars of the bookbinding arts, in part because i made up the binding techniques as i went along.

I’m not sure that real books put so much structural importance on end papers, although i could be wrong. I vaguely remember seeing a technique like this on line, but i can’t find it now!

Just as with the end papers, the signatures are held together with what i shall call “signature end papers.” The most important thing to me was that i could then glue lots of stuff inside and the binding would be forgiving and accept all the stuff. Mission seems accomplished.

One of the books, though, was bound by carefully stapling over a curling ribbon. This is sort of like sewing the signatures to book tape, but not. Still, it’s a cute little orange book.

Eventually, i will do this right, but sometimes it’s more fun to just play around with what little knowledge one has.

I like playing with fire, too.

*”Glue-to books” are a term learned from Live Journaler “Art Journaling”, who seems to have coined the phrase.