Friday, April 25

my tattoo is cooler than i am, by far.

I took some better pictures of my tattoo this week. I also took some of the other one on my other forearm, which, for some reason, no one ever cares about. I won't even show it to you, so there. Take that. It's beautiful too. But you cannot see it.

I'm a bad leader. When I was a kid I had to earn beads for my Bluebird vest - for leadership, service, business, etc. But my mom was a group leader so I figured who wants to do all these boring things when we have boxes of those beads at home? What's my motivation here? Besides, who the hell wants to be seen in such an ugly vest? And when we recited our Bluebird pledge I would only mouth the line "I will always finish what I begin" because I didn't want to lie. Too bad there wasn't a bead for Cynical But Honest Pragmatism.

But I do enjoy running the Etsy People With Tattoos group. Perhaps because there is no work or obligation involved. Plus, no putting on skits, marching in a parade dressed "like an Indian" in a burlap outfit or selling candy door to door in the middle of Winter.

Friday, April 18

warn your children

So, I recently upgraded my operating system to Leopard. Ever since then, a couple times a day when I'm busy shuffling things around, a text file called "utah phillips quote" keeps opening up.

I didn't open it. It opens itself. (Cue the theremin.)

You might know Utah Phillips as the crusty old lefty who recorded an album with Ani DiFranco on her label. He's probably done a million other things, but that's how I found him.

I am a quote hoarder. You never know when a good quote is going to be useful. Apparently this one wants to be heard now. Or, my Mac wants you to hear it. Utah Phillips, to an auditorium of children:
"You're about to be told one more time that you're America's most valuable natural resource. Have you seen what they do to valuable natural resources? Have you seen a strip mine? Have you seen a clearcut in the forest? Have you seen a polluted river? Don't ever let them call you a valuable natural resource! They're gonna strip mine your soul! They're gonna clear-cut your best thoughts for the sake of profit, unless you learn to resist, 'cause the profit system follows the path of least resistance, and following the path of least resistance is what makes the river crooked."

Thursday, April 17

second cherry? that sounds naughty

I got a mention on the blog Second Cherry today as part of a series on deconstructed fashion. Second Cherry is "for women who refuse to mature" - I didn't realize I was part of a demographic!

Sunday, April 13

it's not as bad as seeing how sausage is made, but it ain't pretty.

I'm overhauling my work space this weekend. Ugh! I couldn't bear to take a before picture, but here is a during shot:

My work room (what would be a normal person's dining room) is 10 by 11 feet wide, and I think I've actually come up with a plan to sew comfortably and, by moving a few key items, be able to shoot pictures in here. Ha! The Organizational Gods are laughing at me. I'm used to it. I ignore their hearty guffaws.
The clothing rack on wheels, where I sort source material for current projects, has a chunk of bright white fabric that gets tossed over it. When pivoted out it becomes the light diffuser for my half-assed photo booth.

By the way, these racks are the best thing ever. You can get a crappy Martha Stewart rack at KMart for about 60 bucks. Some day, without issuing out a plaintive warning call, it will crumble. For 52 dollars you can buy a real rack that you could use as a support beam in your house. Plus when you push it around you feel like you're in the garment district in New York. Well, I do anyway, but as Mr. Lentil said this morning, after seeing me stomp on a cardboard box: "You have a flair for the awkwardly dramatic." (Note to self: use this phrase on your next business cards.)
The only flaw in my plan? I have to kick Mr. Lentil's computer out of the other corner. But really, how can someone who keeps a drumset in our living room complain about a little thing like that?

Tuesday, April 8

talking heads vs. flapping lips

Here's the Black Ant dress I mentioned in my last post.

I don't want to hear people's lips flapping today - there is such a thing as too much NPR. I have a promising mix in ye olde cd player: Mike Doughty, Radiohead, Atlantic Drone, Talking Heads and Thelonius Monk. Surely good things will come from this. I think it's a law. I love mornings. Everything seems possible.

This morning I'm finishing up "Retired Military," a long duster in olive and red made from a vintage army jacket. I guess it's fitting (oh, bad pun) that I'm putting military clothing into peaceful service on the same day that the big wigs in uniform are talking to Congress about Oceania's oops - our war, while simultaneously I, sensitive soul, am too shell-shocked to listen to it on the radio. I'll play my own music and sew, thank you very much.

Tuesday, April 1

my advice: stare at what you love.

I like bugs. I just finished making The Black Ant Dress - yes, it's all black, with six pod pockets (two rows of three) cascading down the sides. No pictures yet. I don't think anyone will mistake it's wearer for an ant, but it is what I had in mind as I made it. Insects, six legs, etc.

I spent my formative years gently lifting logs and rocks and staring for a long time at whatever was there - the shiny shells of ants, the velvety bellies of orange newts, the gold foil of toads' eyes.

I was kind, except for a phase during which I was certain that toads would be happier in my elaborately built housing than they ever could be in the wild. Oh, and there was a pet grass snake that I tried taking for walks wearing a red yarn leash. Don't worry, he escaped. But for the most part I just watched.

It's still surprising to me what an important place these creatures hold in my imagination and that now, years later when I finally dare to call myself an artist, they are there waiting for me, their colors vivid, the smell of damp black dirt still fresh.

There are good reasons to spend time staring at things you love. What you are attentive to becomes part of you, and stays with you, with no effort on your part. I'll try to remember that the next time I'm tempted to watch tv.

You're also staring at a handmade stuffed dung beetle, Danny, with dung ball, from etsy seller weirdbuglady.