Wednesday, January 28, 2009

First Five!

I have been given the power of the first five by Cynjon of Varietist Muse.

So here you are! I blantantly copied Cynjon's post, since he has had me pass this on to you, loyal readers. And I want it to mostly be the same anyway.

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you. Doesn't matter if I know you or not. First five. Read on however!

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- What I create will be just for you.
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
- You will receive your item before the end of the year (or sooner).
- You will have no clue what the item is going to be. It could be a story or poetry. It could be a piece of handmade jewelry or an art doll. I may draw, paint, collage or knit something. I might bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to repost this meme and make and send out five surprises of your own.

I will add my own extra catch here, which is that you have to already have a blogmeister and be blogging to enter. It makes passing this on much easier.

If you are heartbroken because you have no blog. Fear not! I will do something nice someday for those who do not blog.

Otherwise, for now, bloggers only! And only for those who do not fear sending out five of THEIR OWN fun toys or things in this next year.

Ready, set, make!

I will contact you soon!


PS: I will keep this going until 2010. So if you stumble on this and wonder if it's still going, it is! Right now there are five comments, but only two people. There are three slots open, so post away! I will send you something fun!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the shell house continues...

More shell house adventures!

I put on, maybe a zillion layers of paper mache and finally the shell came off the undershell! The top picture is half of it still on the base, and the base itself.

I painted it a base color just to give it some body. It will get better paint soon.

Here's what the removed section looks like on the inside.

Here's the outside of it with the base coat on it.

So it's drying. I feel giddy with anticipation about adding more paint and windows and moss.

Speaking of moss. I couldn't help myself and I spent some actual money on this project! (I was hoping to use only recycled and found materials). I bought some mossy goodness for the ground outside it. Here's a teaser.

Don't worry. Herne and the Petri Dish project continue. They're just on the sidelines until I get shell house and secret Estyn project done.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More Pippi stuff

More sketches of Pippi's house.

I'm not sure if I will actually furnish it like this but I might.

First floor: Kitchen area, cooking area, food storage, beds.

Second floor: Reading and general meditation area. Tables for balancing coffee, tea or snacks.

Third foor: Artist studio. A good room to go for star watching or being alone.

I decided against putting stairs in. We all know there should be stairs, but who wants to bother actually putting them in? I mean, I don't want to play 'I'm walking up the stairs' with Pippi. Let's just assume there are invisible stairs or something.

Also, since I wanted the fire pit to be central, I'm just making the chimney invisible. I may or may not put the actual holes in the floor where the chimney should be. We can just know there should be one.

I'll decide on that later.

I will definitely put the top of the chimney in, however.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pippi House Photoshop Fun

Here's a better representation of what I'm going for with Pippi's house.


Photoshop madness go! Click for more detail.

I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with doing renderings with photoshop. It's easier for me to use pen and paper when it's just for me. But when I'm trying to convey something photoshop has a lot more variety than me scribbling with a pen.

Pictures of the shell house and herne

Here are some images of the Shell house and Herne in progress.

Shell house, drying on the radiator. Radiators make great drying racks for paper mache! Yay! At least in the winter they do.

This needs more work, but I'm gradually making it the shape I want it to be. I have to stop occasionally and let it dry fully before moving on with it.

And here's Herne. Sorry the desk is so cluttered. I hope you can make him out from all the nonsense going on. Although I always love to see other peoples work spaces so maybe you'll like to see mine! I just white washed him with gesso. And added the antlers. I think they will get a lot more work before he's done. I'm not sure how to deal with his fur yet. Any suggestions from the peanut gallery?

As always, click to enlarge.

There's so much going on on this desk that if you go to my flickr, you will be able to see what is what from my miscellany of notes.

Currently I'm reading: The Cricket in Times Square. Highly recommended. A short easy read.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

mood swings

So I was sick.

I spent yesterday feeling sick.

But I'm healthy again now!


I'm having mood swings again.

No news to my old friends I'm sure.

I'm feeling wildly happy and ready to do or make anything some days.

And other days I'm feeling really down. I question my recent job-a-roo switcharound. (Significant pay difference is scaring my checkbook). I question whether my art is worthwhile. I question my lack of physical community.

It's supposedly the life and times of the artist right? To have these mood swings? Centered on yourself and your needs?

It doesn't feel very zen or anything, to be obsessing about myself. And obsessing about my art (which is really just an extension of myself, really).

But I am.

Trying to stay on the bright side of life. Monty Python style.

To cheer myself up, I will tell you about my latest adventure in making stuff:

I am making great progress on the shell house I am making. It's a before work/after work sort of project.

I decided that my Pippi Ursabob, by Kitlane, needed a house. I love making little scale models so it sounded like a good project in between making petri dishes and a paper mache herne the hunter. (Do I have too many projects going on?)

Here is the sketch:

It's blurry but you get the idea. I decided that most types of 'bobs' probably don't really build their houses. They probably use found objects that might be found in a garden or a fairy circle. And then they alter them to suit their needs.

So why not a big beautiful shell for a house? They could carve little windows into it, and it could have moss growing on it. I sold myself on the idea as soon as it came to me. Definitely helped by the inspiration found in lichen over at sweetie pie press. I will make there be moss or something growing on my shell house when it is finito, I swear!

Here is the beginnings of the house. You can see Pippi standing there for scale.

You can see it already wants a hobbit hole style door. And I'm thinking it will be inspired heavily by the moomin house, with or without my conscious intention.

I made a cardboard skeleton. I have been paper-mache-ing onto that little cardboard sketch. I have no current pictures of the horrid mound of newspaper and tissue paper that it has become so far. But I will post some when it gets a bit further along. It's getting a bit bigger than I had originally planned. But maybe that's ok since one day I would like Pippi to have more friends from the same lovely world.

The idea is a bit more complicated than this, since I want a hollow house. My plan is to perfect the outer shape by many many layers of paper mache. Then I will cover it with vaseline or something (after it's dry). Then I will paper mache more onto that. Then I should be able to cut off the new layer of paper mache from the old, and have a hollow form, just a tad bigger than the final thick heavy one.

I'm crossing my fingers, but I think it will work. I will probably need to cut off the second layer, but that's ok since I want the house to split in two so you can open it up to play with the bobs in their house.

I can't wait to paint it and furnish it!

But I have to finish it first.

Sometimes you can't worry about bills. You just need to make stuff.

And making stuff makes me feel better. Makes me feel like I'm doing things right.

I can't really explain it to my logical side, but my artist side understands. And I think she's the one that needs to be calling the shots for a little while.

I'm trying to grow out of a phase of my life, and I think a bit of poverty and scrimping will be ok as long as I'm growing properly. Growing into the new Rose. Hopefully a better Rose.

That's the plan anyway.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sick? Singing in the Rain

I can't tell if I'm sick yet.

I don't really feel good.

Parts of me feel cold.

Parts of me feel hot.

It's not a good combination.

Good news though, is that I finally got around to watching 'Singing in the Rain'.

Oh man.

That was some sort of awesome movie crack.

I mean. What a movie!!!! Some of the dance numbers actually made me gasp for breath they were so good.

And I definitely clapped, alone in the house, after 'Make Em Laugh'.


At the computer screen!

Hah. It's my humble stage origins. The desire to clap at things brought on by years of theatre with an 're' at the end. Not theater. Theatre.

Some sort of difference there I think.

Anyway. It didn't make me 'unsick' but I definitely loved the movie.

It's not often I watch something and think to myself, "If I watched that twenty more times do you think I could figure that dance out and do it?"

Highly recommended from the little possibly sick woman.

Here's another link of love!

The Moses Supposes Song and Dance

(Of course YouTube doesn't really do this movie justice. I Netflixed it)

I love the Chester Quote.

''Chester chooses chestnuts,
cheddar cheese with chewy chives.
He chews them and he chooses them.
He chooses them and he chews them. . .
. . .those chestnuts, cheddar cheese
and chives in cheery, charming chunks. ''

Too good.

I'm so old fashioned.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Well. So this last week of no posting, I have started a part-time job and managed to pull myself out of my little funk. Mostly. Hah!

I'm working at a Young Peoples bookstore a few days a week. Which is great. As a child I was pretty sure I had genetic ties to Matilda because I was an insatiable reader.

Biographical randomness:
As I started exploring my craft and arts side, I read less and less. During college I barely read at all. Since graduating I've renewed my love of books and the intensity and amount of reading I do. I did an insane amount of reading (of mostly British authors) when I lived in London for six months. I had no money and there was a great library system with a lot of fiction I had never heard of. I'm a fiction person. Some of them became instant best friends. For instance 'John Wyndham' (The Kraken Awakes and The Midwich Cuckoos being my faves).

Some weeks I can go through six or seven books. Some weeks one or two. Depends on how long they are and what they're about. I am still rereading 'Young Adult' novels that I loved as a child. I don't see why they're considered 'Young Adult'. Most of the ones I like are still great to read as an actual Adult.

Bah. Categories.

So I've got a nice little part time job, I don't get to read at work of course, but I get to draw on my book learnin's. And I'm discovering the powers of ARCs. 'Advanced Reading Copies'.

Did you know that if you work at a bookstore you may have access to books before they actually come out!? I mean, you can't hand it out to your friends or anything, and it's mostly so the store you work at will buy the books (marketing ploy), but you can read it early!

I think everyone but me knew this.

But I think it's new and fancy information!

Yes. Smile at my ignorance. It continually astonishes me and all my friends. The extent of my ignorance that is.

I'm working on some sort of bizarre cryptid sculpture. I will probably wait to post pictures until it's further along. It's based on Herne the Hunter, from 'The Dark is Rising' series by Susan Cooper. It's an interesting series. I picked up the second book recently (of the same name) and read it straight through. I had forgotten how Christian-y they are. Still good though. Just a bit heavy on the LIGHT and the DARK.

It's still at that stage where I'm not sure if I will love my little sculpture or hate it, but I must continue to make it.

It wants to be finished.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quick link to another blog

I'm shameless, but this other blog just really cracked me up so I had to share.

Funny commercial for Microsoft's Songsmith

Over at Boing Boing. Which I wish I could break my habit of reading but so far no dice.



Sunday, January 11, 2009

Feeling better, and out of the house

I got myself out of the house on Friday. Shopping and swatching for a secret project that I'm doing on the side.

Which reminds me. Here's a self plug if I ever heard one. If anyone loves fabrics, ribbons or other weird things from New York City I am available hourly to swatch for you or actually purchase things and send them to you. I've been swatching and shopping as a props person in NYC for around three years now, and can really do the rounds quickly, getting to some fabulous stores like 'Tinsel Trading Company', 'B and J', and 'N Y Elegant' to name a few. I can swatch or shop by color idea, from a pattern, or just from an idea for a project you might have. Email me if you're interested. There's some nice stuff here that's really just hard to find at your local JoAnns.

Anyway. I got out of the house on Friday, which was a godsend. Here's a photo of a nice tableau I saw when I peeked into the sky.

And I wish she had a website, I can't seem to find one, but here's a beautiful painting by Kim Gill, a great Costume Designer.

Here's a closeup.

It really made my day to see them. I particularly loved the crow, as you can see. There's a set of them on display at the aforementioned B and J. She's a brilliant painter. If I discover a link or something to her I will put it here. And if you're hanging out in the fabric district I recommend going to see them in person.

And of course, the mandatory petri dish photo below:

It's coming along nicely. But it is definitely painstaking to replicate.

And now, I leave you to the power of Mushishi. A lovely series, I recommend watching it at night, with a cup of green decaf tea.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thursday Blues

It seems like today I have the Thursday blues. I might need to force myself outside for at least a few minutes to get some fresh air. I'm so bad about staying inside and getting grumpy. Maybe even if I just sit on the porch or walk around the block...

I fought with Imovie today on my little macbook. I think it hates me.

Can you tell I've got the blues? I'm angry at a computer. Hmmph.

Making progress on the little petri dish that could. Here's the latest installment.

I mostly fought with Imovie because I was trying to make it do a fade through of the petri dishes as a slideshow. It doesn't want to. I'm sure I'll figure out why eventually.

One day I figure it would be a cool 'the making of' sort of movie, showing daily progress to a flourishing petri dish embroidered finish with radiohead playing or something in the background.

Living in dreams.

I remember pieces of my dreams lately. Like flying upwards through skylights in a building, busting through them to land on the top floor, looking up through a hole in the roof. Why would I be able to fall upwards through 5 floors, breaking each skylight/floor window as I went, only to stop before I could fly/fall out of the house?

There's some heavy dream imagery for you.

I finished 'The Witches' today. Well. I started it AND finished it. It's a quick read. Quicker than I remember. I must have lingered over it as a child. It's quite fabulous. And almost too scary for children. Which I guess is why children love Roald Dahl. He has a touch of the dangerous about him that kids adore. Adults too, but kids are always so pandered to that they don't get as much adventure as they want I think.

Oh, I almost forgot! Last night I went to a four hour 'driver certificate course'. It was terribly boring. We watched a horrid little movie called 'Street Smarts'. I think they made it in the early nineties, with the worst possible actors they could find. I was having a hard time not laughing. I tried to find a youtube of it for you but no luck.

And then we got to watch 'Breaking the Accident Chain of Events'. (Sadly it's only a link to a picture of a woman, no youtube either). Also horrid, but at least it didn't pretend to have a plot like the first one.

The ideas were all sound, and I got one of those little 'how to drive' booklets from them to study, but it made me feel 16 or something. I should have gotten this whole drivers license thing out of the way a long time ago.

Ugh. I'm really glad that those four hours of mind numbing classroom car-ness are over. I think it's a great idea to make future drivers take a course, but really, does it have to be awful and boring?

More fun times ahead I promise. I'm gonna go take some anti grumpy sunshine and fresh air.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Slithy Tove and Etsy shop makeover

Forgive me, I have a disjointed post today. Lots going on in my brain. I put little ----- to clarify when my mind jumped from topic to topic.

This is Slithy Tove. Or S. Tove as I've been calling her. She's available for purchase over at my Etsy Shop. Her link. (Of course she's a reference to The Jabberwocky).

I love her coloring. And those socks were really really comfy, so she's wacky soft and snuggly. She's so darned cute! I don't always fall in love with my creatures but sometimes they just get me. But if I kept them all I'd soon be overrun. As it is I have four or five new permanent residents that I couldn't bear to give away or sell that live on the couch or in the bed. Thankfully I don't have to feed them.

It's fun trying out new forms. This is my first elephant-looking creature. I actually took the pattern and altered it from the 'EofC' (see near bottom of the post) book 23. But there is an online pdf of the pattern information here if you want to play and don't have the luxury of those books.


News! I'm feeling the urge to do some spring cleaning. So to that end:
I have a sale in my etsy shop! 10 dollars or more off every item from 2008!


I'm thinking about doing some small cheap prints of 'Lost Valentine' over at the shop. I did a test one on some cardstock and it turned out lovely. I threw some pink coloring in. Thoughts? Anyone? Or is she too depressing prancing around in her stockings?


Also, I'm considering giving away my extra 'Encyclopedia of Crafts' books. I have around 8 duplicates or so now that I don't really need. I would cut them up for crafting but they're just too cool to mangle. Would anyone be happy with a Monthly craft book/surprise giveaway? Should I do it?


Hopefully I'll tackle the petri dish again today. Slithy really took it out of me last night. I just plunged in and made her start to finish in the afternoon. I can't hand stitch all day and night. Try as I might.


I went and got my New Rochelle library card today. Felt good! It's a great library! I poked at the Larchmont library yesterday and was really dissapointed. I'm glad to see that New Roc has a better, bigger, snugglier library. The kids section is HUGE! I was super impressed. And they had a large art exhibit in the front by big windows.

I had to keep myself from buying a bunch of used .10 books at the friends of the library sale. I don't need worn copies of A Wizard of Earthsea, or moudly hardcovers of The Wind in the Willows, but I wanted them anyway.

I checked out more books than I meant to. I had no idea someone had gone and republished 'The Greene Knowe Chronicles' books. I LOVE these books! Kids running around a huge haunted house, with little to no supervision. Ghosts, adventures in canoes, a big monkey and treasure is just a little of what these books have in store for you! Oh, delicious! And of course, my favorite, they're 1950's British childrens' fiction, which is always fab!

Go read one! Really! Start with The Children of Greene Knowe. It's the first one.

I'm gonna go make a cup of tea and snuggle with mine.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pictures of my crafts goodness

Hello! I'm currently unemployed so I have some extra time for posting and projects. Which is a blessing and a curse!

I opened a flickr account. Here's the link. Should be able to see all my stuff. Poke me on the comments if I somehow have some blocks set up.

Here's a few pictures, as promised.

The petri dish project, after about an hour of work on it. The light isn't beautiful. It's dark and wintery in New Rochelle. It's probably about 4 inches in diameter:

That's gonna be a long term project I think. I bought a set of 4 linen napkins and decided to stitch on them. So this guy might have 3 sisters, depending.

The 32 flavors pieces, as a group:

You can see how the really thin scarf has a totally different color breakdown than the hat or the little arm warmer. Zoom in shots on my flickr page.

Here's a picture of the scarf and hat I made for Adam:

These are probably the nicest things I've knitted so far. I used Catalina Yarn , Chunky Baby Alpaca. It's heavenly soft and made from Alpacas. I highly recommend it! Again, zoom ins on my flickr page. That first pumpkin hat I mentioned earlier in the blog was made from the same stuff. I first found out about it from The Yarn Tree in south williamsburg, brookyln. If you're in Williamsburg, they are open late, so you can go after work! Boodely told me about them.

And a picture of the weird cowl thing I just made. Might sell this one on Etsy:

I like it alot. I took an acrylic yarn I wasn't very fond of and stitched a bunch of weird little scraps to it with my sewing machine. Then I knitted it up.

Go knitting! And embroidery!


Anyone else have projects to share?


Friday, January 2, 2009

New crafts and petri dishes

I blame Adam for showing me cool petri dish images over a year ago. He put the germ of the idea into my head. Then I found a picture of this and thought it would make a great embroidery project:

Here is the link it's from. And here's another link to more of the same. We'll see if I go so far as to start doing a series of petri dish stitchery projects. I certainly feel the desire to do so right now. But I'm a fickle one when it comes to artsy projects so we'll see. I'll do one first and see how incredibly painful it is to make teensy petri dish art. I'm definitely feeling inspired by the wave of wacky brain art I've seen out there like this piece or definitely stuff like this.

I've been knitting madly, and have yet to post any pictures. Next post or so I promise I will. I made a hat/scarf combo for Adams holiday presents. And I made a little arm warmer and a long skinny scarf from the rest of my 32 flavors I got over at Rivulettes. It's fascinating how depending on how wide you do your rows that yarn changes dramatically. Again. I will post the pictures soon. Also I made an experimental hyperbolic knitting shape. Which I thought was a failure until I pulled the needles out in frustration and it turned into a beautiful little anemone thing. I guess I need to have more faith in instructions found online.

Of course, my crafter/artist life wouldn't be complete without at least five projects going in my head, if not in the flesh. I have received all but one now of my set of 'The Complete Encyclopedia of Crafts' that I have been tracking down. (Here is a great flickr resource with a bunch of pages copied from them for you to view and oogle.) I had these books as a kid (well, they were really my mothers) and I adored them. I ran off with them when I went to college and then lost them, so I had to buy them all over again. Now that I've been a props person and a crafter and an artist for a few years, I am only now realizing how great these books are and what a fabulous resource they were/are. They are truly a gift for an artist who qualifies as a 'scanner' as Barbara Sher would call it. They cover everything from how to do macrame, embroidery, knitting, woodworking, enamel work, interior design, color theory, oh the list goes on and on and on!!!!

And of course, you get the added bonus of everything being VERY 70's. Which is actually back in style now. When I was a kid in the eighties it was all very unfashionable and ugly looking, though I loved those books anyway.

I'm missing book 22. Which as far as I can tell is the one book I really really want. It has pictures of recycling and focuses a lot on the nineteen seventies conservation and recycling movement. I remember a set of pictures of a house built entirely of recycled materials.

But I still have the book that shows you how to make giant lamps out of clay, and how to make fringed blue suede leather jackets. Unfortunately they're really hard to search in any semblance of an order. They appear to be a collection of magazines which were republished as a set of encylopedias, given the way the articles line up. They have an embroidery lesson 1 and an embroidery lesson 5, but to get from one to the other in order you just have to flip through the books or scan every single books table of contents. There's no easy reference. Sigh.

Can't have everything.

Hmmmmm. Embroidery. Off to it then!