Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A full on self-indulgent post, Post.

I NEED these. For my inner Charlie One Horse Cowgirl Diva.

I am going to start a change fund for myself. All the loose change that I save anyway will now be going towards Angela's boot fund. thank you, that is all.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The RAW Collaboration

Newly hung in my living room are the three remaining paintings of the RAW series. I can't believe that I haven't mentioned these before. I think they are easily some of the best work Dave or I have done. The photo to the left being my personal fav, I love Jacques-Yves Cousteau. It is part of a collection in San Diego, as is Audubon.

Anyhow the idea we had was pretty simple, and the inspiration straight forward: Morris Louis exhibit opened at MCASD (Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego) that Dave and I went to Downtown. When you see the stains or stain paintings or whatever in the books they look unimpressive but when you are looking at a painting like that, as big as the whole wall.... well that's is a bit different. Its like being directly in front of a rainbow. Minus the tiny Irish folk. You don't see the muddied or overly simplified color strokes. You see subtle colors blends created by the different washes of watered down acrylic.

Like Louis, we used unprimed canvas that was hand stretched and nailed by either Dave or I. When asked about the process people are generally surprised that Dave doesn't paint the face on and then I make splatters over the top. Instead we make it more of an exercise: keeping in mind who we are painting I mix my color stains and make an abstract painting that can stand on its own, then while that is drying Dave paints into the existing lines I created. He incorporates a lot and lets my painting insinuate the picture at times. For instance much of Darwin's beard was drawn in by my colorwork first, and much of Cousteau's hat and facial highlights. I don't tell Dave which way it goes so he looks at it in different positions for a while before deciding where to paint. I think that is my favorite part, the spontaneity. This had led to one painting that didn't feel right, and we each only get one go at it so we scrapped it.

For now it is all naturalists but we have a larger project in mind. I can't wait!

Top to Bottom: Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Charles Darwin and John James Audubon. I will have to get decent pictures of the other two, Desmond Morris and Jane Goodall.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Denyse Schmidt's String Theory

One of my favorite museums is the Museum of Contemporary Craft, here in Portland Oregon. I have to check out their website every on a fairly regular basis to see what is going on, seminars, podcasts etc. Today I checked out the podcast available on Denyse Schmidt, quilter extraordinaire.
It is interesting to hear her progression and process in both the individual quilt and how she got to where she is. I am very inspired personally by her move to the industrial warehouse and the business she has created there.

Denyse also makes fabrics for FreeSpirit and has some books out by Chronicle Books.
My favorite title is What a Bunch of Squares but her Quilts
book is full of tips, patterns and projects for the modern quilter.

Of course she is an American
Craft super star, I tend to glamorize those who make it to the pages of American Craft. My friend Michael Fields, exhibit designer of the San Diego Naural History Museum and maker with his son of Bagriculture Bags ( I absolutly love these bags and am a proud owner of one myself), was on the cover for one of his baskets. I have tried to find it with no luck, so if anyone has an older stash of these mags I'd love a scanned copy. My friend Cyan Bott was also splashed into a recent ( Dec./ Jan. 2008) article called Port to Port that looks at the two big craft meccas Portland Oregon and Portland Maine. I bask in their glory.

The podcast is here: http://www.museumofcontemporarycraft.org/media/2009_07_17_Denyse_Schmidt.mp3

Bringin' Spats Back

These are incredible, I encourage you to check out the details. The maker is Emma Greenwood, an Australian trained in leatherwork and custom made footwear.

Her blog is Aprons and Hammers and you can see some of the steps in making these gorgeous shoe/spat combo as well as other creations. She also has a pair of trainers called NYC Kicks that make me a bit tingly. The detail is what strikes you first, even the thread on the shoes themselves are multicolor mirroring the embroidery itself. The pure technique is beautiful, they are so well made. I love spats anyway but this pair is over the top cool.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ink Calendar, Kinetic Fibers.

This calendar is incredible, a kinetic fiber sculpture that is not only cool but useful. Each day the dye permeates the the number path and each new month the dye is changed. The calendar uses capilary action to suck ink across the embossed numbers that are timed to penetrate the paper throughout the course of the day. Oh and by the way it was designed by Oscar Diaz as part of "SueƱos de un Grifo" curated by Hector Serrano (http://www.hectorserrano.com) and Javier Estebanin Madrid, Spain. And now for my best Count impersonation: one, ah ah ah, two, ah ah ah, three...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

"Dividing the Union is Illogical" or " The Art of Cross Promotion".

Being that this blog is a natural vehicle for self promotion, here I go. My husband Dave is an amazing painter, it seem only natural that I begin with him. Our best seller on our Etsy site by far is the ACEO, "Dividing the Union is Illogical". It is an oh so lovely meld of dear ol' Abe Lincoln and Spock. It's a hit with all the kids, and the resemblance is eerie.

The original painting was acrylics on hand stretched and tacked canvas. The aceo's were made by us, with the exception of the printing. That was left to more capable hands. The stamps on the back were designed by Dave as drawings that were scanned for sending. I loved the result, the stamps came out perfect and super detailed. We carefully cut the cards and added a backing for stability and the longevity of the print. It also lends a nice finish. Then they are stamped, signed and numbered.

Aceos are mini art pieces, so these would be mini prints. While we wanted a professional look, we also take great pride in the handmade aspect as well. We did this with our boxsets too. The overall cost of making what we want, how we wanted was very expensive. So some elements (printing, stamp making) were professionally made for quality purposes. Other things we felt we could do ourselves and not sacrifice quality.

I have my own collection of aceo's, small but growing. I like to frame them in cute, cheap black frames from Michael's and have them in groups. My latest two are by Paul Brogden and are men with magnificent moustaches. I adore them.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

camel: artist Elizabeth Thompson

Originally uploaded by tulpastudios
I looked up marionette puppets on Flickr tonight and sifted through the fashion, compositional and perspective study type photos. Three separate and random times I picked out a striking photo and all three times it was a photo from Tulpa Studios showcasing Elizabeth Thompson's work. When Dave and I can't agree on something we often play Rochambeau. Whatever the outcome we do it, no best two out of three business. After three hits, well I had no choice but to write about her.

I love this photo but I encourage you to check out the rest of her work which spans a gorgeous giant blue spider, minutely detailed arch. sets, and yes a few marionettes as well.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Iron On Transfer tutorial for embroidery

This is a repost of a tutorial by http://sparklygreenknickers.blogspot.com/

I wanted to repost this, sometimes the simple things are good. Placing exactly what you want or replicating a drawing/design can be a task. I think this breaks it down to a nice bite sized piece.



Iron-on Transfer Pencil Tutorial

I've wanted to do embroidery for a while now, but was always baffled as to how I put my own image or text on to the fabric. Then I came across an iron-on transfer pencil on someone's blog (sorry, have no idea which one it was - I subscribe to way too many!). I'm sure people have been using them for years, but for those of us who haven't - or who haven't even heard of them - this tutorial is for you.

I have used a red Clover iron-on transfer pencil. Presumably there are other brands of transfer pencils on the market - please follow the instructions on the packet, as I have only used the Clover pencil.
1. I drew the original image myself (copying and enlarging an image I found on some fabric). I first drew it in lead pencil, then traced over the top with a black fine liner pen to give a clear outline.
2. I wanted the image to come out as I initially drew it, so I flipped the paper over and traced over the back of the image, to give me a reverse of the original image. If you are using text, you will need to do this, too. If you don't mind which way your scooter faces, then you can skip this step.
3. I then placed some baking paper (which is all I had on hand) over the new image and traced over it using the iron-on transfer pencil. I pressed quite firmly to ensure good coverage of the image.

4. The next step is to iron the image onto your fabric. Lay your fabric down and work out where you want your image placed. Place the baking/tracing paper pencil side down on the fabric. Set the iron to the temperature required for your particular fabric (eg hot iron for cotton or linen). Press a dry iron firmly over the image for 10-20 seconds, taking care not to glide the iron, as this may distort your image.
5. And hey presto! You have an image ready for embroidery. (Don't be distracted by the TV, as I was, and burn your fabric!!)
6. Choose your floss, and start embroidering.

The transfer can be used several times. This was my third time using this particular transfer, and I was surprised at how bright it came out.

The transfer works better on lighter coloured fabrics, as you probably won't be able to see it on darker fabrics.

The transfer is permanent. Make sure you position the transfer correctly before ironing. Have a sharp point on your pencil so you get a thin line transferred onto your fabric. Don't skip any steps if you're using text - otherwise you will transfer a mirror image of the text!

And, as always with new toys and gadgets, test on a scrap piece of fabric first!



Saturday, June 6, 2009

Girlie Concrete Rocks

I came across this a little while ago and tucked it safely into a folder on my computer. Time to bust it out and share. Anyhow I was really impressed with the very idea of this, I have tinkered with embedding fiber projects in plastics, it is a current theme around here but concrete? I've never considered it. So here it is, Girlie Concrete. This is a Tactility Factory Production that has recently seen its fair share of both gallery and design spaces. I have a special affinity to cob because of the ability to work in other objects into the structure being built, this allows for endless possibilities. This idea of "soft building surfaces" is similar but lends itself to a very sleek and modern profile. Plus, well its embroidered concret! Check out their blog http://girliconcrete.blogspot.com/ for more information. They also have a website which you can find on their blog. side note: I just received two of the most gorgeous books yesterday, both are of art by Ernst Haeckel. If you are unfamiliar do yourself a favor and check him out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Um, does anyone need a life-sized Tyrannosaurus Cast Skeleton? I mean with the will farrell flick coming soon and all.

I love the thought of this in my yard, but alas a tad bit too big. I see it looming over the chicken run.

I know there are some folks out there who read this and say, " You know I could use a T-Rex skeleton, life sized, cast (doesn't say in what) in my life."
Now mind you this is a real add, so no naughty faker takers, make sure you want it! That's not nice.

~ ak


Cast of Tyrannosaurus skeleton (Life size, packed in boxes) (SW Portland)

Reply to:sale-veyrg-1201033222@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-06-02, 12:20AM PDT

My father acquired this as a donation, and it has been stored in boxes for the last 35 years. I cannot pay to store it anymore, so if you'd like it call link to craiglist ad, the phone number is on the real ad.

Location: SW Portland
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 1201033222


I think I need this, it can sit next to my Microfiche.

I am reading: By Tom Robbins Still Life with Woodpecker