Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I am dying right now trying to come up with an artist statement and artist bio for this show I applying for. The deadline is of course TOMORROW. I heard about it over the weekend and put that e.mail aside from my friend because I just wanted to enjoy my weekend. Why do I always seem to apply for things last minute?

What I did instead of taking care of this was packing our kitchen away and go to a multitude of cookouts. I also wound an entire box of yarn skeins that I had gotten in last week in between filling up this amazing pool we got at target for $79.99 that came with a filtration unit.

The pool was totally worth it, ten feet by thirty inches high of pure cold relaxation.

But seriously back to the art stuff.
I have probably revised my artist statement about 6 times and still have nothing. I just feel like such a snob when I write them or as my friend Jay refers to himself #artjerk . As you can see I am procrastinating even as I type this blog because it is yet another thing I can do to avoid putting labels and explaining my inner dialogue that I don't even understand that represents myself as an artist.

I also need ten images to submit. I'm not doing very well.......

Let's go over some basics about my work. I work in fiber and fabric. I enjoy clothing the human body. I also enjoy depicting parts of the human body and inner workings through embellishments on fabric. I like to emulate patterns in nature when I make my garments. I feel like fabric and fiber mimic the building blocks of the human body just as they are the building blocks for my projects. I view my work as soft sculpture with the body as a canvas rather then fashion clothing.

Why can't my artist statement be as simply stated as I did above? Oh because it's art, because people tend to not take you as seriously unless you have a bit of long winded response. They want to sit around and prod and poke you with their "why" stick. I learned how to take and defend your work during a critique very well at the Art Institute of Chicago but in terms of writing my own artist statement there wasn't a class for undergraduates.  I think my Liberal Arts classes involved class title such as "Opera", "Norse Mythology", "Failure"(yes it was a class all about failure), "Meteorology", "Korean History" and "French". The most critical writing we did was in Art history and well that isn't very creative just regurgitating facts and commentary.

Well I guess I will stop my sniveling here and troll some other artist sites that I admire, or who's work is similar to mine and see what they have to say and how they said it. I will most likely watch that Art21 episode of Ann Hamilton again as well.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Thoughts and Easy outfit - OOTD

 I love having Lavender in the backyard, it seems so nice and comes in through the kitchen windows. The flowers also last for such a long time. We are letting it overtake one of our flower beds next to the garage. Eventually I'd like to add some Sage into that bed as well. I'm also obsessed with getting a Gardenia shrub. You know, things that smell nice while we have friends over for BBQ's all summer since we will have no kitchen for about two months. I'm trying really hard to keep on the up and up and just cook everything in our freezer before we have to say goodbye to cooking inside. With this mentality of trying to be more easy breezy I've turned to long skirts and pretty hoodies for comfort with style.

Lace Hoodie - Antrhopologie
Grey Striped tank - Target
Mint pleated long skirt - Tobi
Silver Dr. Scholl's sandals - Zappos
Baby G watch

This may become a staple combination of what I'll wear to work all summer. It is comfortable, I can easily switch out one piece for after work exploits and the hoodie has pockets!  I prefer a long skirt at work because it can be cold with the AC on full blast in the cubes but then almost non-existent when I have to switch to the front desk. The option of being sleeveless when I go to lunch is a Plus and if It rains I have the hoodie.

Ignore my toenail paint, it is terrible. I will be re-doing that this weekend among other things which includes:
  • packing the kitchen more
  • time on the porch with water colors
  • warping my borrowed loom for an overshot project
  • trying my hand at Silk painting 
  • start some new embroideries
  • knitting & crochet per usual
My strange little thing I like to do when I declare it is summer is wear an anklet. I don't know why but even when no one can see it, this makes me feel complete in my outfit.
I got this little handcuff one from Pop Killer in LA

Do you have any secret Seasonal habits in your wardrobe?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wounded Work

 I'm not sure if you recognize these from a month or two ago. I started to work on these embroideries of bruises and scabs. Things I would say were just flesh wounds, nothing serious but still take time to heal, like feelings (oh, if my hubby saw me say that he would laugh so hard!). My hubby always tells me and my "artsy" friends things like, "why don't you go draw/knit/paint your feelings"
Anyways I digress. This was the project I started in response to my rejection from Graduate school, and I like it to much I am going to continue it. I found my inspiration from my local bestie Claire when she hit her arm really hard in weaving class and got this stellar bruise.
It made me think about the colors that erupt from that kind of injury and I continued to play on it and different formations. I'll tell you it is not a fun thing to research on google, bruises, scabs, scars, some nasty photos come up. I've been trying to take pictures of friend's injuries I most likely won't post them here because it's still gross, but not for me since it's personal.

Anyways I've mounted the few works I did on canvas and took some nice pictures of them for you all to gander at.

Bruised #2

Bruised #1

Bruise #2 Detail
Bruises are a funny things because if you pay attention closely there are all sorts of colors in there that you wouldn't except. Pops of red and purple for broken blood vessels, that greenish yellow tint around the edges and sometimes a serious black color depending how bad it was. I don't feel like I've got it down quite yet but I will keep working at it.

Scabs #1 and #2

Scab #1

Scab #2
I think that I have done a much better job with the Scabs. The irritating looking skin outline and pinkish scabbing texture worked well. I especially liked doing the crack in #1. I think they still give the sense of irritation and itchy that I wanted to convey. I had a really good scar but it was tiny and I think it was lost when I framing the other ones out.

I just got some excellent photos of some biking injuries a friend Jen had so I look forward to mapping those out on some muslin and getting started next week.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fresh Greens - OOTD

Yesterday I celebrated the gorgeous weather by dressing to match. I love getting new clothes and this this cropped lace shirt was a purchase on my New Jersey Trip. I had also switched to my more "adult" purse since I was visit my high brow Bestie and her family. Normally I don't care but I know she cares so I try to pander to her because I love her. Like how I kept my hair a boring brown/black for half a year per her request for her wedding and the events leading up to it.

This cropped shirt I am in LOVE with but it's a bit challenging to piece into my wardrobe without being belly baring. I look forward to the styling challenge it will give me this summer.

Lace Cropped Green Shirt - Anthropologie (on sale right now!)
Gold Tapestry Skirt - Zac Posen for Target
Baby G Watch
Delicate Arm party - Soon to be on my Etsy
Gold Platforms - BCBGeneration from DSW
Creme Coach Bag - Bought at Prime Outlet

 I've been making a bunch of these really delicate beaded bracelets and I've just been working on taking the right pictures of them and figure out pricing for the Etsy store. I like to wear colors that match my outfit for today.

Here's a close up look, I have a matte blue grey, Mint green metallic, Pure Silver and Old Gold.
These colors will be up for sale shortly amongst a variety of other colors. It's been a busy Spring full of meetings and potential projects as well as getting our house together for some major construction. We are one week away now from starting our kitchen remodel which will include gutting and installing a half bath. I'm also looking to get a Studio space so I have a much more open set up to use my knitting machines as well as spread out my fine arts to better work on my portfolio for another round of Graduate School applications in the next year. Try and try against eh?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Carry me - Book Review

 I'd been battling back and forth if this book would be worth it to get and finally just found it through my local library. My library is amazing that it connects to about 100 or more others so if they don't have it someone else can send it to my branch. Anyways back to this book. From the cover I could tell this was clearly a Japanese translation, their books just have this certain clean look about them. As much as I like Amy Butler's books and all their pretty colors it can also get me distracted from working on the project at hand. This book was also suggested by Interweave magazine so I thought it would be a worth a gander.

As expected from a Japanese craft book, even though it is translated it still has all the exact some clean beautiful photos. The detail photos are always important to me to see the pockets and notions used to make it complete.

I was very intrigued with this bag and it's multiple rivet's. In another picture it shows how the smaller bag clips inside the larger one with the rivets and some alternative strap and accessory attachments using the rivets as well.

Per the style of Japanese craft books all the pretty pictures are at the front and the meat and bones of the making is at the back of the book with a small picture of the project.  The instructions were very clean and direct with some nice illustrations to help understand where you are at.

 This book is perfect for someone who wants everything exactly step by step handed to them but a bit dry for the more creative person since it is very word heavy and all the illustrations are in black and white. But that is only half the book, the first half is still all the pretty pictures to inspire you.

Another nice thing is that all the patterns for the bags are included with the book. The Translated version is a bit different then how I am used to seeing them in the Japanese Craft books. Usually the patterns are all crammed into one sheet only identifiable by their different types of lines (dashes, dots, diamonds, circles, etc) and turned every which way. But in this translated version everything is laid out nicely such as a typical garment pattern would be laid out.

Over all I think this is a great book but if you follow them for materials you might have a tough time. Some of the bags require special notions that you can't just run down to Joanne's and get. These bags are also very nice and well made from good materials so if you want to do the exact project step by step plan ahead to be ordering some things online and that it might be just as costly in materials as it would be to buy a bag on your own. I think that can be said with a lot of nicer sewing projects though.

Not a keeper for me but I will be checking it out from the Library again so I can make the square bag and perhaps the rivet bag for my own personal uses.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring Cleaning - The yarn Stash

This weekend I would love to be working on my little loom but I'll be heading to New Jersey for my best friend's Baby Shower. We also got the news of the start date for our kitchen remodel so I've started to pack things away and make room.

I finished this little project on the loom which will eventually be a camera strap. I had forgotten that I didn't have all the components to sew it into a functional strap after my weaving. You'd be amazed how specific you need to make the fittings to attach to the camera to make sure it will work. You wouldn't want your $500+ DSLR to hit the ground due to a  faulty strap, so I am going to do a good bit of research on the best attachments.

With all that being said let me show the Stash you came to see. This is just the yarns that are stored in the basement. I have about two other stash areas for yarns that are in more frequent rotation in upcoming or envisioned projects.

Blush colored yarns in silk and wool blends fill this 2x3x2' bin.

4 of these 5 bins are full of yarn as well. One of them was the above blush colored stash.

This is the majority of my stash of Cone yarns which can happily be used in weaving as well. A lot of this yarn was inherited from diligent dumpster diving when CCAD moved the fashion studio to their new home at the Design Studios on Broad a few years ago. Each of the bins has two layers of cones so I have easily close to 35-40 cones of yarn. Now I need to condense it all down even more and move it out of the way. Unfortunately my studio space is right where they need to do all the plumbing work for our kitchen and half bath.

One day my knitting machines are going to go crazy eating all of this up in the next few years. This isn't any cheap yarn either.  They are all wool, silk or cotton blends. You won't find any nasty acrylic in here.

I hope my stash and projects inspire you to start something fun from fiber this weekend! I'll be taking my tatting and knitting with me to the airport to keep me company.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tilt - Feeling Good

This week I am feeling very inspired and very productive. I got some DIY accomplished over the weekend. Started a few other person projects and worked on getting some of my fine art fine tuned for display.  These are some things that have helped me along in little ways to keep the cheer levels up!

1. Gel manicure- I am a huge fan! It's been over a week and no chips, no muss.  I'm going to become an addict. Totally worth the money for the safety of my fine tips.

2. Smashbox BB Cream- I was a skeptic and now I'm an addict. This stuff has completely wiped out the use of all other tinted moisturizers for me. It does what it says it will for my face and I love that it works as a primer as well. This has reduced my make up bag requirements by quite a bit.

3. Studio Ghibli plushes - no mater my mood I just need to look down at their cute faces and it can usually perk me up.

4. Clover circular knitting needles in size 2 - I have long been and still am a fan of Clover craft/art supplies and tools. I was ecstatic when I found that they brought back their short circular knitting needles and in new tiny sizes. It makes the new socks I am working on such a breeze.

5. Avengers Movie Marathon- I went I saw and conquered. There is no better way for me to take some serious me relax time then a movie marathon with loads of eye candy and nerdiness. I saved this for last because I could eye candy for days on the cast of this movie.

Starting in the order of my Favorites!
 Thor - Chris Hemsworth

 Iron Man - Robert Downey Jr.

 Captain America - Chris Evans

Hawkeye - Jeremy Renner

The Hulk - Mark Ruffalo (I like that they had him wear a purple shirt to keep some essence of the original hulk in there for character continuity).

Black Widow - Scarlett Johanson
I actually like her Character a lot but the boys are more fun to look at for me.

I found this random image while surfing google and it was too good not to share.
I wish Thor would be this casual in Asgard. That would make for a hilarious scene. Of course the Shawarma at the end of the Avengers is pretty classic too.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fringed Skirt - DIY

I saw this in Lucky and was inspired to make my own over the weekend. Although the materials are supposed to leather and glass beads I used what I had, T-shirts sitting for disposal from the house.

Thankfully my hubby and I are of completely different sizes. His old t-shirts were just the right amount of fabric to make my fringe skirt.

I cut each one in half so that I would have room on the front and back. Also if you have ever worked with t-shirts before the best roll is when you cut them across horizontally in strips.  I divided it vertically first so that I can cut my pieces horizontally for the fringe.

I measured out and cut with a rotary cutter 1" wide stripes leaving 1" at the top for me to be able to sew it to the skirt base. This also keeps the fringe from stretching too far up and tearing itself apart.

After all the pieces are cut I stretch each individual strip to give it both length and let it roll itself into thinner strips.

You can see the difference here between stretched and unstretched fringe.

With all the fringe stretched I am ready to sew it onto my skirt base.
The skirt base I used was a simple pencil skirt with a high stretch on the horizontal.

I sewed the first top fringe color on first so that I could judge the placement of the others as I worked down. I attached it with a top stitch since that would easiest to work with.

Remember when you are sewing with stretch you want to use a stretch friendly stitch such as a zigzag stitch. This will allow the fabric to freely stretch with the fabric without breaking the stitch.

I lay out the second tier of fringe under the seam line about an inch and make it with chalk so I can see it while sewing.

Sewing the fringe onto a pre-made skirt can be tricky and you want to be careful when pinning things on stretch fabric because they will want to move.  I didn't do it here but I suggest using a walking foot when working with stretch. Otherwise the bottom feeder feet will put more tension on the bottom and stretch the fabric more then the top.

I followed the same steps with the third and last tier.

When you get this far it can get a little complicated so make sure to keep all the other fringe tiers out of the way of your sewing. A good tip is to pin them up or even pin another piece of fabric over them to keep them out of the way.

My finished skirt! I would show you a full photos but when I sew, let's just say it's not the most fashionable things I wear. I'll do an Outfit of the Day soon showing off my new skirt.