Archive for January, 2008
When did you ever see such a great toy in a box of food?
And while I am being a fancy photographer, this is what my cat Chicken Noodle does…
She is LICKING the beautiful handmade walnut box my dad gave me. See the
slobbery delicate little tongue?
At least this is a step up from her licking the yellowing sewing machine cover. Her tastes in inanimate objects are maturing.
Anybody who knows me, knows I love the books. But I also need to remember they are not sacred texts to be preserved from the mutilations of a mere mortal. So I am using a poorly** written early-reader book as a scribbling flexing-my-art-muscles journal. Just lines and dots, but muy fun.
**The poorly written early-reader novel…
According to the back of “Watermelon Mystery” the Sugar Creek Gang are always “bounding into adventures filled with suspense, mystery, and laughter.” They are “fun-filled, life-loving boys who never have a dull day.” Except that the fun-filled part appears to be when Little Les describes the water content of watermelons. I kid you not. (Page 40). And the suspenseful part? When he is snooping as Little Jim writes a mysterious, possibly devious letter only to discover that he is simply reminding his friend to study for Sunday school (Page 94). And what kind of young live-loving boy knows exactly how much his dad weighs?!?
I offer my condolences to any young boy who picked up these books expecting a rollicking good time.
They are lame.
Someone who knows how to properly deface a book: Brian Dettmer
My crafty friend Sheasy has a shop. On Etsy. It has way cute pin cushions…
and lovely little hearts for sale in it…
Do you not respond well to Valentine’s Day? Do you dislike so freakin’ much pink and red all at once?
Then these colorful, plump, hand-stitched little goodies are what you’re looking for. Go pick one up to celebrate general happiness in an unconventional way.
Nice additions to other gifts, or super simple way to remind someone you heart them. (PS: There is a touch of natural lavender in each. I used to think I disliked lavender because I disliked lavender-scented crud, but the real stuff is heavenly.)
While sewing today I was belatedly kicking myself for not taking photos of the wedding present I had sewn last August for my dear friend Bruce. Lisa Solomon‘s color chip art:
was my first inspiration for looking at the sewing machine as a big, noisy paintbrush. That, and a conversation over sandwiches with Jen, led me to sew up an abstract thought on Bruce’s upcoming wedding as a gift. But I am not so good about documenting before giving. So instead, here is what thinking about my love of line in art—and getting back to using the sewing machine as a tool—got me today.
Some quick-as-I-can, linen-y experimentation.
Some Is Better Than None is my theory that every little environmentally-friendly action is better than none. It can even be a hobby you already have, like growing your own veggies alongside your flower garden. Basically, it comes from my worry that plenty of people give up because they think that being green means you have to go to the extreme (No Impact Man).
Banish that though. Because even one teeny-tiny-minuscule little thing you do helps more than not doing that one teeny little thing. Pure, mathematical logic. 0+1 is greater than 0. It certainly isn’t as big as 0+142, but it is still bigger than 0.
What about carpooling just once a week, if you can? Heck, what about just once a month? Seriously. That once a month is better than never. (Benefit to you: less stress and maybe make a friend at work.)
Rather than ordering take-out one night, invite friends over for a potluck dinner party. (Benefit to you: less cost for more social impact.)
Don’t worry about how much that adds up to. Don’t worry whether or not your efforts count in the bigger picture. Just take pride in whatever amount you can do, not what you “should” do. Because Some Is Better Than None.
Google Transit (for figuring out public transportation schedules in certain cities)
Paperback Swap (cheaper-than-buying alternative to your free library)
USPS pick-ups at your door (if you mail packages often, rather than driving to the post office)
OneSquare Foot (help them out by adding to their trivia collection)
Reuse clean, outer cardboard boxes from food packages (storage, kids art projects, organization…)
Geekware (fun, geeky, repurposed gifts)
And on that note, here are two of my all-time favorite thrifted finds. A chunky painted ring and over-the-top floral silk scarf:
To any browsers/lurkers/regulars out there: please share what little, teeny, tiny thing you do.
Roaming through my digital pictures I came across a few that made me start to think about inspiration. Normally I am immediately drawn to something—usually visual. But going through my file that is in desperate need of some weeding, I started to deliberately choose a few things that I would normally automatically ignore or even delete.
What the heck is this? And in this modern age of immediate digital feedback, why did we keep this? But I am glad I have it now.
A tree in our backyard that looks great with leaves, but plagues me with those menacing, treacherous little spiky pods. Now that I stop to look at this shot though, I start to feel all abstract-y.
Clouds from a trip that I wasn’t even on. But I love those hints at shadow on the right.
And I think this exercise in deliberately choosing to find inspiration in the everyday/mundane/refuse is useful for what I am about to embark upon:
Join me! Or join Mr. Man in commiserating over a wife who will be spending more and more time closeted away.
Anybody else out there have some unusual inspiration sources?
I am posting rather late because I spent a good portion of tonight finishing up The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I tend to think that I won’t like most Oprah Book Club books (please note that this idea of mine is based solely on NO sound reason or logic). And I might not have got around to reading it anytime soon except that I like to read. And if I pick up a book to flip through it I may very well end up hunched awkwardly on the floor in a weird position as I keep reading. Plus there is all this talk about it being a good book, or something. Like critics know what they’re talking about. Pshaw.
What I am leading up to is probably obvious to most well-read types, but the reason I read close to 200 pages tonight is because it was fantastic. A really tragic, overwhelmingly desperate, dismal sort of fantastic. And despite all the grey ash and post-apocalyptic tragedy (or because of it?) it was also warm and heartening deep down underneath the horror of it all. Don’t be misled, this is a harrowing, gloomy read, but it is written in starkness and absolute poetry. And for those of you who claim not to be interested in Sci-Fi, this story is not as much about the future as it is about deep, abiding love and what one will do for those they are devoted to.
The boy is my favorite.
Please take note, Hollywood. You are no longer allowed to include scenes of an underdog military leader rallying his troops with a rousing war speech as he strides in front of the massed soldiers. You should have stopped doing this in 1995. I don’t care if these sorts of scenes are historically accurate. I don’t care if your production design team spent hours researching your period piece and this is exactly how it would have happened. Braveheart killed all that. It is now a cliché.
(And what got me going about this was the trailer for 10,000 BC. Can somebody please explain what that is about?!)
My most favorite site that everyone should check out: NotCot.org. “A daily filtration of ideas+aesthetics+amusement” in faux-Polaroid format, posted by any Joe-Schmoe and curated by these creative young people. It includes posts on design, architecture, toys, electronics, environment, art, you name it. It just has to be visually appealing. Like these funky map plates.
I love my maps.