Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Eelwax Jesus Live!!!! In July!!!! MUST SEE!

Eelwax Jesus is playing at HERE ARTS CENTER from the 8th through the 11th of July, at 8:30PM.

You heard me. FOUR NIGHTS!!!!

If I could afford it, I would go EVERY NIGHT! Each one! But sadly, super-fan that I may be, I cannot.

Friday though, I will totally be there. With bells on!

This is a band that comes the closest to perfection on the Rose-Scale that I've ever heard.

The songs are witty, catchy, bizarre, eclectic. And just all around fun (though not for the little ones).

It's hard to describe their sound if you haven't heard it. Watch the four minute music video I made if you can spare the time. It's got their song 'I'm Not a Pirate (It's Ok)' playing, from Naptime for the Guru album. Click here to go there. Song and Video are kid friendly.

Yes, that picture is Bacon, in space, with a Bazooka.

Some of my favorite lyrics from their songs:

"Your coat is beautiful
But you wouldn't let me touch you
You just looked at me,
and smiled
I could hear it raining,
a million miles away
These were our Chicago Days."
- Is This Another Love Song?, Origami Monkeys

"We were told
We were too crazy
Trains were always running too slow
Where were you?
When the monsters came out of their holes?
Where were you?"
- We Were Young, Origami Monkeys

"Look into an empty corner
Watch the carpet melt
A girl on a bike
looks precarious
At the end of a really good film.
A boy runs out and yells
-(Let Me Feed Your) Paradigm, Three

"So let's chop down the forests while we're at it
Let's kill as many species as we can
Let's destroy anything that's natural
And all
For the Glory of Man."
-chop down the forests, Naptime for the Guru

They are a bit David Byrne, a bit Tom Waits, a bit Oingo Boingo, but really, they're all around Eelwax Jesus. You can't lump them in with anyone else. They have their own sound that is very unique to them.

It's poppy, it's rock, it's alternative, it's intelligent. Their music can have a snap-fire wit, or reveal incredible depth of emotion. Often both at once.

I can't, really I CANNOT stress how important it is that you go see this show, at least one of the nights.

They are amazing! Witness the amazing-ness! Do it!

Do you like Jonathan Coulton?

Do you like Talking Heads?

Whatever your answer is, the reality is that you must GO SEE EELWAX!!!

(This is a stage shot from one of their performances at The Zipper).

Tickets available here. Scroll down that page and click Eelwax Jesus Show, it will take you to ticket buying goodness.

And I've been and worked at the HERE arts center a few times. It's newly renovated, and there's a groovy little bar you can drink at. Fun times and really easy to get too off of the A,C,E train in NYC.


Have fun!

Booze it up!

Watch awesome music!

Support the best band in the universe!

Once more, I appeal to you via Youtube. See this great video by MP7NYC of 'For A Moment I Forgot I was in America'. (Not Kid Friendly).

Brought to you by the Ministry of Self-Appointed Eelwax Guerilla Marketing Division.


PS: If you visit the blog, and come on Friday, send me a comment and we can meet in person! How cool would that be? :D

Monday, June 22, 2009

A break from crafts, Long Ramblings...

You know (or maybe you don't), I started blogging again to help me do away with a constant nagging writing itch. An itch that started when I stopped writing short stories and attempting the next 'Great American Fantasy Novel' (hey, I was a teenager) and continued for many years.

And of course, lately, maybe half of this year so far, I haven't really been writing. Just logging my fun art/craft adventures.

Which is ok I suppose, but really not what I jumped into this game for in the first place.

I stopped blogging in 2005 (archives are for the most part lost) because I had revealed too much of my personal life. When casual acquaintances at my work started talking to me about it it made me uncomfortable. So I realized that if I started again, I needed to have some space between my innermost thoughts and my actual blog posts.

But unfortunately I think that's backfired and I can see little of my thoughts in my posts. Just my conscious mind chattering about odd things I'm making.

So here, I am returning at least once as the true me, talking straight to you from the heart. Or from the keyboard. Or something...


The last few years of my life feel like another giant transformation process. I keep reminding myself, in notes, or scribbles in a sort-of-diary-thing, that these feelings of transformation happen again and again in my life. Where I wake up one day and feel new, better, stronger, etc etc etc.

But taken as a whole, since graduating college in 2004, I feel like a brand new person. I can see a lot of the sadness and confusion in my old self just by thinking back to the ways I interacted with other people, and the assumptions they had about me. I have pulled back a lot of what was often referred to as my 'lack of tact', and have gained a lot of self-confidence and poise that I never dreamed of back then.

I have higher expectations for how I wish to be treated, and have reined in my uber-self-righteous, know-it-all, pacifist, vegetarian, generally-better-than-you egotism that ruled my high school and college days.

There she is:

I'm not sure I would really like the old me if I met her in the street, though I know I had to be her to be who I am today.

Even knowing I've come a long way in five years, I know I have so much further to go. I have ideals of the person I want to be. Some vague amalgamation of my Western concepts of Buddhist Monks, Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus Series, Shaun Tan and maybe John Wyndham and Ursula K. Le Guin (the writer thing is still in the back of my mind, always will be).

Oh and of course, some part of me will always want to be Snufkin, from the Moomin series.

Needless to say, I know I haven't achieved my goals of becoming a bit of all of those people. But possibly one day I will be able to look at some of those goals and be able to say that I have achieved them.

Some high goals to conquer, to say the least.

But I feel like I'm on my way. And those aren't my only goals. I have new goals about being a better partner, and making a new life with the Taller Half. And being a better friend, and a better daughter/sister/cousin/niece/etc (which sadly wasn't on my radar around 2005).

I would like to be a full-time artist and maker, and can't totally shake those half-formed thoughts of making the world a better place, even if it's just by living by example.

And teaching has always been something I've loved, and having done some dabbling into it lately, I feel strongly that I should go in that direction. I'm far more patient than I used to be (my impatience used to convince me I could never be a teacher) and I take pleasure in helping people learn. And like learning!

The job I have right now is a great place for me to figure some of these things out and get ready to move further into...I don't want to call it my Destiny, but I guess that's what it feels like.

I've come out of one Chrysalis, and gone straight into another one. This repetitive reawakening is just so right. It's a common theme in Le Guin's work, and has always resonated strongly with me.

The crafting right now I think is another part of me healing from overstress and not taking care of myself. Taking the time to patiently embroider things and draw out ideas and then bring them to life is restorative.

As always, I find peace and energy from fiction, from the concepts of stuffed animals and imagination. I've been immersed in it lately, but I know I can't stay there forever. Soon I will move into whatever is next. Maybe I have already begun.

I know that this all feels hyper dramatic as I reread this post, but this is really how I feel right now.

I'm going down a new path in life, and I no longer feel like I'm alone. It's wonderful.



Friday, June 19, 2009

Duckies/Monkeys#2/winding down...


the final chapter of the last month of crazy crafting closed last night with a splash of softie rubber duckies!

See them in their resplendent glory.

As you can see, many small hands make light work of duckies.

I custom designed a pattern for these little yellow darlings for a birthday party that I did a workshop for. Fun fun fun for a rainy afternoon/evening.

I think everyone had a good time. And everyone got a very special souvenir to take home. I wish I could say it was my idea, but there is one special Larchmont mom and daughter team who had the vision to make this a reality.
Thanks Jeanne and Faith!!!

And below, you see some of the results of Sock Monkey Workshop #2 from Tuesday night. I can't tell you how pleased I am with all their little expressions and bodies! I wanted to take all these little monkeys home.

I have really had a great time figuring out these workshops, and I hope and hope that I will get to do more soon. They are a blast, and I think everyone has had fun at each one.

The Chuppa, Monkeys-times-two and Duckies have wiped me out fairly completely though. I would love a few days to recover, which it looks like I'm going to get.

I'm looking to try my hand at crafting in Brooklyn with some crafty adults one of these days. Maybe I'll work my way into the graces of the Etsy team somehow. :D

I'd also be happy as a clam to get some work in some classrooms, since I know the arts funding has been cut almost everywhere, and doing guest art teaching sounds like just the thing for me!

We'll see, *fingers crossed*. I added a page to my website just about Teaching, so that people can look me up easier.

I may want to do more workshops, but right now I just want to clean everything up and take a little nap. Maybe for July.



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wedding Pictures from the Chuppa/Mandap!

Whew! Wow! What a weekend!

If you've been following, this is what all that build up with the Chuppa/Mandap was all for!

For budgeting reasons tall one and I decided that I would be going down for the wedding of my highschool friend/pseudo-sister alone. So alone I went, packing an ipod and a ton of unfinished softies to work my magic on.

Anywho, the wedding was FAB-U-LOUS!

(Disclaimer: I loved going to this wedding, but I'm still fond of our quiet little run-away elopement style wedding. So don't think my enthusiasm for this one is shadowing our little marriage, it's just different.)

Imagine lots of lovely Indians, mostly if not all Hindi, and a load of Jews, and a load of Random and/or non-Religious, and mix it all up, add lots of great food, wine, and music in a beautiful space with lots of natural light, and you get the Wedding.

The Pundit said he was pretty sure this was the first time this kind of religious ceremony had taken place. I'm sure he was right. They did the important parts from both religions (which did take awhile, but was well worth it).


It was at this place. That top horizontal stripe is actually the Clerestory style windows that light up the inside:

There's the ceiling inside, lovely!

To give you an idea of how long the Wedding was, this is the morning light on the chairs and stage, later it's dark. See the Chuppa/Mandap! They've also wrapped the poles with fresh flowers. What a great touch.

The Groom totally rode in on a white horse. I stole a shot of it waiting:

I waited with the Bride inside while the Grooms family came up dancing to meet the Brides family. There was drumming. She's watching that ceremony in this shot. She looks so placid! Robin is beautiful!

Remember this?

Here's a shot of everyone onstage under the Chuppa/Mandap. There was a Rabbi and a Pundit. The Bride and Groom were onstage, their parents were onstage, and then we had people to hold each pole onstage as well. No one wore shoes. At one point there was a fire underneath the canopy (which is part of the Hindi Religious part). Apparently a lot of us were worried about it, but all went well.

I went onstage after the ceremony to sneak a shot of it still up. It was neat because later in the evening the lights from above made it glow.

Of course I had to snap a photo of their first dance as a couple. They're so cute together!

And so sweet. Loads and loads of people came up to me after the ceremony to complement me on the piece. I was so happy and giggly. And later when we took it down and folded it and I handed it to Robin and Raj to take home, I told them I could back it or change the size to be a blanket or piece of bedding. And his father came up and said that it was a treasure (no joke!) and that they should keep it as it was for at least awhile, because it was an important thing in their lives together.


I feel so lucky to be a part of their commitment to each other. And I wish them well in their future together!

Mazel Tov Robin and Raj!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sock Monkey Workshop, and Duckies!

So the first Sock Monkey Workshop was last night!

We had so much fun! Boys and girls even! Who says boys don't sew? Not me!

It was at The Voracious Reader, in Larchmont, NY. Bookstore Extraordinaire!

Here are some photos of the monkeys we made:

Aren't they just adorable?

There was so much response to even just the IDEA of the first one that we have already scheduled a second one next Tuesday. Whee! I'm looking forward to fixing some of the things that didn't go as smoothly this time for a faster, cleaner, better monkey experience. (Although everyone had so much fun it's hard to believe it could get better!)

Speaking of The Voracious Reader, I know that I work there, but really it's a fabulous book store! If you're in the area please drop on by! We sell craft books and I can help you choose one to get started on your own craft adventures. There's also a lovely cross-stitch oriented store right next door with millions of types of floss, and a natural paper store/collage-y/giftwrappy place, so you can do a bunch of craft trips in one.

So, sock monkeys, wonderful fun.

The next project is: Softie Rubber Duckies!

A wonderful, magical pair of people (mom and daughter) got very excited about the sock monkey workshop, and decided to have me come do a special softie workshop for a birthday party!

How awesome is that?

I of course immediately wanted to help a birthday party in need of crafting, and snatched up some spare yellow fleece and invented a new pattern. Then I ran into the city and bought more yellow fabric for duckies.

Meet Quackles!

This is her with her sister Quackers. Pre-outfit. (In the background is a lovely wedding present we received from this etsy shop. See it work here.)

Aren't they adorable?

I'm in love love LUURRVE!

They look like they're going to go on an adventure!

The theme of the birthday party is DUCKS. Well, ducklings away, we're all gonna make one of these! And time permitting we'll dress them up with little wings too!

Sorry I'm on an exclamation point trip. I'm just so excited about these workshops! :D

One of these days I'll actually post something other than crafts and give you all an update on me. :P Oh and PS this is my 71st blog post! How does time fly???

More soon.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Chuppa Finale, yay

What a lovely project!

But I'm not going to lie, I'm glad it's over!


I had no idea how stressed out I was getting about it. I put it in the mail around noon today for Saturday Air Mail Delivery. They have a week until the wedding but this guarantees if there are any problems mounting it to the poles it will be discovered FAR before the ceremony.

I made the ties from strips of the silk dupioni.

Then I stitched them into the corners. Three long strips per corner. I doubled one so that it made a little loop. Since maybe we'll need zip ties or something at the top I wanted to leave the option for a different style of attachment.

Sewed up the back of the corners.

Some special embroidery on the tree! Secret!


I think I did like fifty hours on this baby. I took notes so I should count.

*rolls head, shakes out shoulders, reaches for a beverage*


Other things I've been working on include two upcoming sock monkey workshops for parents and little ones! I will post about that soon. First workshop is already sold out! Second one has a few slots, June 16th, 6-7:30pm in Larchmont, NY.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More Chuppa, really, the edges now

The binding fabric!

So I decided that the backing is just not in the works this time around. It will be lighter, easier to mount for the wedding, and honestly I don't think I have time to put one on. I figure if my friends really want a bedspread I'll do it after the wedding. That way I won't be on a deadline and won't mess it up! (The back is actually decently nice without backing fabric as well.)


I cut strips of the edging fabric. I decided to double it after doing some more sleuthing on binding online. It means it will be thinner than planned originally but much stronger for what it will be doing, which is holding itself up! I looked up how to make one long continuous strip. The internet is a great place for tutorials right now. Right angles go!

Tall one convinced me to sew ribbon into the seams to make it extra strong for support reasons. He's very smart that one. It did make it buckle a little bit (no give), but it will be very strong and it buckled neatly where I pinned it so it sort of looks like ruching.

I stitched the binding to the back, then pulled it round to the front so I could control the stitching better.

I'm still not quite done, I need to make the ties and do some detail work, but since I really only have one more set of several hours left for it, I think that's just perfect. Here it is thrown over the bed for scale. That's a Queen sized bed. Yeah. Queen.

Old zoom of idea for reference. I'd say the biggest changes are the binding color and the Star of David color. I just couldn't put poopy brown as the Star of David color! I like it better pale gold myself.

That's another thing. Maybe after the Wedding if we're gonna make it a bedspread or coverlet, we can alter the dimensions to actually FIT a bed. :D


I'm exhausted.