The evil pj pants that I couldn’t finish in week nine? These are them. Regrets for the terrible photograph. They are comfy as all get out, and they thermal fabric with sweet little apples all over them! Far better than their ancient predecessors.
Right. The show is up, and I have had time to recover from it, so starting tomorrow, I am going to begin adding all the projects you have missed seeing since MARCH! (Lord, I am a terrible and irresponsible person!)
See you tomorrow!
So, I’m sure you are all wondering (or not) where on earth I have been, what I have been working on and whether or not I’m still on the wagon as it were. The answers to these questions in order are; my basement working, many many things and yes. I hope to catch up with my regular posting, and share all the fantastical things that I have made since March.
(You know it’s coming… wait for it… wait for it…)
BUT, Kyle and I have a gallery show that installs in just eight short days! So we have been cracking the whip trying to get that all done. That said, you should all stop by the show! It is up June 10 – July 7 at the Lala Gallery and Studio in Lafayette, Indiana. The opening reception is June 15 from 5-10pm.
If you want to see some work in progress shots of our Friendly Neighborhood Robot Factory, you may visit them here.
Thanks for your patience everyone!
Here it is, kindly designed for me by Neil, the first of two get out of jail free cards. I of course, am continuing to work on the piece of art I started four weeks ago. I will openly admit that I am now dragging my feet on it. I sort of resent it for sucking my social life down the drain. Not even sort of – I just straight up do resent it. Because I didn’t want to finish it, I decided to replace a pair of Pajama pants that are totally old and falling apart.
I made myself this awesome freezer paper pattern from the pants themselves. For your sanity’s sake, I am not including a photograph of the original pants. Trust me – they’re covered in paint and holes, and you don’t want to see them. Just know that the pattern is really pretty true to the originals, and I am surprised at how good it is.
I don’t have a serger, or any kind of fancy shmancy machine to sew knits, so I used this tutorial I found online for sewing knit fabrics with a conventional machine, and chose to use the double needle method. I worked super-terrifically until I got to the waistband of the pants, at which point my machine started only catching on every fifth stitch. I chose to ignore that, since the seam it sewed like that on was not structurally necessary.
I get to the last seams on Sunday afternoon – all I needed to do was hem the dumb things. The sewing machine started catching every tenth stitch. I try sewing conventional woven thread? Works like a dream. Obviously I am doing something wrong with the knit fabric. I went to go online to troubleshoot my problem, and I had no internet. Did I mention that I don’t know why I’m paying Sprint for data? My phone has no data connectivity either.
And so – after much swearing and gnashing of teeth, I threw in the towel. More next week.
SEWING MACHINE UPDATE: Yesterday I went to sew a birthday present for Neil’s goodly wife, Maureen, and discovered that my machine only sews one layer of fabric like a dream, rendering it completely useless as a sewing machine. Takeaway? I need a new shuttle for that machine. Also, in hindsight, I could have just switched machines. It’s not like I don’t have four other waiting in the wings. In my own defense, however, I didn’t think it was the machine, just that I was humanly incapable of sewing knit fabrics together.
Today’s post is brought to you by the good folks at Bed Bath and Beyond because they are the only store on this entire earth that still stocks flour sack towels. I was going to stretch this and make it a hanging canvas, but my strainer stock did not come in on time.
I give you, the Sheet of Paper Towel. It is an 8.5×11 piece of flour sack towel, with ink and brass grommets. I have been in love with this idea from the moment I had it. Kyle suggests that I make some paper sheets for the bed, which I think is brilliant as well, though it would take a lot more work.
I am considering making another and stretching it on strainer stock when that comes in. Does repeating break the rules? You tell me.
For real – something great is in the works. That said, I made a super sweet Valentine’s card for Kyle as my week seven project. It was done using the tutorial for a dream-catcher card that I found over at Zakka Life.
I put a little Kyle illustration of Kyle in there, along with a feather, and I stamped the text. Apparently my violet stamp pad is pretty much dead as evidenced by the horrible way all of the purple characters look. There it is – short sweet and to the point.
Yeah, yeah, I’m terrible at updating. I know. Suffice it to say, that things have been rolling along. Week six was the week where everything got real. The transmission dropped out of my car and I spent the whole week trying to force money on people in exchange for vehicles. It’s harder to do than it sounds.
Blah, blah excuse, blah, blah, blah aside, I didn’t really have a lot of time to spend working on something for Thing a Week. (That would be the sweat part) I did however, discover that Valparaiso has two things that I love combined together! Letter-boxing and a labyrinth! For those of you who don’t know what letter boxing is, it’s something akin to Geochaching, but with stamps. You look up a set of clues online, solve the clues, find the letter box, and stamp your personal stamp in the letterbox, and the letterbox’s stamp in your journal or on your hand, or really wherever you like. Valparaiso has a public labyrinth (!!!) which has it’s very own letterbox (again – !!!) Basically two whole fistfuls of awesome smashed into one. And I don’t already have a letterbox stamp. Obvious answer? My project for Thing a Week this week is a letter-boxing stamp.
The stamp needs to be not larger than two inches square. I had a piece of linoleum mounted on MDF that fit that description. Unfortunately (for me, anyways) it was a piece of very hard linoleum, designed to be cut with wood engraving tools, which I don’t have. I have cut blocks like this before using my normal lino knives, however, so I wasn’t really worried. That is, until I realized that a 5×7 piece of mounted lino gives you a lot more space to keep your other hand out of the way of bouncing knives than a 2×2 piece does.
Suffice it to say that I sliced my finger open. (That would be the blood and tears bit.) I was going to just give up and use a get out of jail free card, but then I got really mad at the stupid stamp, cut myself a normal piece of lino, and made the stupid thing over without re-slicing my finger. Here is a photo of the negative, stamp and positive image that I wound up with. Linked image of the three with my slashed-open finger for the strong of stomach.
The takeaway? The letterbox isn’t there anymore. We looked and looked. I think the landscaping got redone last year, and someone threw out the letterbox. But at least I have a stamp now? Whatever.
So here is my first actual filler week. I made myself a new sketchbook caddy that was full of fail and sad. I used the pattern found at clevergirl.org for the Norma Envelope clutch. Basically, the idea was to have something smallish that could hold my bare essentials, and keep my sketch supplies well organized.
What I wound up with was an entirely different matter. I am no stranger to sewing, so a bag shouldn’t be all that hard, but tri-fold assemblies have never been my strong suit.
Here are photographs of the immense fail of this bag:
A list of some of it’s faults:
Though even considering all of those faults, It is an easy bag to carry around, and it does fit all my business nicely.
Fear not readers – I am slowly working on some pieces of actual art that I am happy with. Just biding for time to do them the justice they deserve.
Yeah, yeah, I know – this post is two weeks late. Fear not, however, I did produce something the week before last, I just didn’t want to post it. The why of why I didn’t want to post it is probably one of the first lessons that Thing a Week has taught me. Don’t force it.
I started the week doing some beautiful tapestry work that made me very happy. So happy, in fact, that I wanted to devote quite a bit more than a week of my time to it. The task then fell to completing something else during the week in order to not break my resolution. What to do? My eyes fell to an 8×8 canvas that I started this past fall and never finished. Having just sold two pieces similar at Lala Gallery, the obvious choice was to get off my duff and complete that. A given, right?
Apparently not right. In the middle of producing a piece that was giving me enormous satisfaction, working from a happy and good place, I had decided to go backwards and add to a body of work that came from an entirely different place and made use of an entirely different mind set.
The resulting work is not something I am happy with. It isn’t terrible, it just isn’t what I want to be producing at this juncture in my development as an artist. So without further ado, here is the painting I produced.