Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Green is the Word

The big box of green has arrived back home from its year long travel around the country.

Note: This post has scads of pictures so be prepared for that.

As you may or may not remember I participated in a round robin journal project based on colors (we got the idea from the book True Colors) with a group of artists from Traveler's Hart. The Big Box o' Green is a fabric covered giant Altoids tin.
These are the sign-in cards that everyone made.
A closeup of the messy edges of the box. Some glue is more "clear-drying" than others. ahem.
A detail of the beading I did on the outside of the box. The green moon bead got broken sometime during the traveling around, oh well...
One side of the card from Pam Thomas.

And the other side from Pam Thomas.A window effect from Vivian Montre.

Lots of texture from Vivian Montre.
One of the cards I did, how do you like the drink coaster on the bottom?
The reverse side of the card by me.
The insdie of the tin, on the left is the library pocket with all the sign in cards, on the right the green tissue paper and glitter.
The bottom of the tin.
The other card I made, one side.
And the other side, that picture of the native Alaskan costumed people still really pleases me.
A fabric covered card, love those mahjong tiles, from Pat Pleacher.
The other side of Pat's card showing the nice stitching she did on the edge, and the dangly beady bits off the bottom.
Lots of layers and depth on this one, says thank you on the central circle. By Megan Murphy.
The other side of Megan Murphy's card, showing the dangly beady bit on the bottom.

Shiny foil, embossed side by Emily. And the other pop culture influenced side by Emily, showcasing the Grinch, Kermit the Frog, The wicket witch of the west from Wizard of Oz, the Hulk, Marvin the Martian, Frankenstein, Jolly Green Giant, one of the Teletubbies don't ask me the name I thankfully missed that phenomenon with my kids (pshew), and the one eyed guy from Monsters, Inc. The words say: "Green Is In Style". Indeed!
An all fabric card, with a fun button and ric-rac, made by Misty.
One side of the card by Michele Merges Martens.
And the other side, the stamped words say: "green gree it's green they say on the far side of the hill", also by Michelle.
A harlequin window side by RedDog Scott.
All the same images are reused in this collage side by RedDog, very cool to have that relation as you flip the card over.
Here's what the box looks like when you open it up, card bundled up on the right with green ribbons.
Lori Z Art Maniac did this very dimensional card.
And there's the other side from Lori Z., aren't those fun postage stamps?
A painted side from Teresa Bailey.
The other side of Teresa Bailey's card with Buddha and a karate guy.
wow, did you make it to the end? That was a whole lot of pictures, hope you enjoyed checking out my box o' green.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fashion, In Santa Cruz?

Last week I got to go to a real live fashion show, right here in Santa Cruz. It was a real treat, and I'm glad my friend Debbie encouraged me to attend with her. We splurged on the VIP tickets and got to go early to swill champagne and eat chocolate dipped strawberries for dinner (yum).

This is the 3rd annual Fashion Art Runway Show put on by Michaelangelo Gallery Art Studios, and it combines art, wearable art, high fashion and commercial fashion.
A real hodge-podge, whiplashing between the sublime concept and the mundane jeans and t-shirt look so often seen here in casual Santa Cruz. I wish I could credit each artist or designer but the program doesn't coherently list a description of each person's work. I figured out a couple though.

This art piece was called post-apocalyptic fashion, the details were amazing, pottery shards, nails etc. sewn on in very pleasing designs.
These three outfits are made out of recycled tires by Michelle Stitz. Bicycle I think. The dress really had a lot of movement for how stiff it was.
The skirt on this outfit as well as the bracelet is made out of slides, the bag a slide carousel, by an art-history professor lamenting the end of the slide show and the advent of PowerPoint presentations. I guess she had to do something with the slides...It was a swingy, interesting skirt.
This was my favorite one, completely out of recycled materials. I wish the picture wasn't so fuzzy, the skirt is two old pairs of jeans, upside down, and the vest is a recylced army sweater with really neat details.
These two outfits were made out off stuff from a coffee house, the boots on the left-hand model were covered in designs of whole coffee beans. Creamer package tops, etc. very creative use of basically just trash.
This was a nice looking skirt made out of repurposed ties, it had a lot of swingy movement on the runway.
This was one of the designers, Michael Ange who presented a full collection, he's pictured at the very end of the line. Isn't this some great stuff? I love the brown coat.
This final dress in his collection was really beautiful.
This one was made out of painted cardboard packaging, you know the stuff that is kind of accordion-ish or kind of net like. Beautiful isn't it?
There was a whole lot more show that I don't have pictures of because I was nice and lent the excited husband of one of the designers borrow my camera. He was so cute, had a baby with him, and it turned out at the end of his wife's show, their daughter came out too. So he got some pictures since his batteries had worn out on his camera. But unfortunately then so did mine, so I missed capturing some of the best stuff to show you here.
If they have this show again next year, I'll be going!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tale of Two Curtains

I think I mentioned before that a friend had asked me to make a small curtain for her bathroom, she chose the fabric and trims, and I whipped this up.
The curtain didn't work out, mainly because it was going to clash with the artwork she was planning to hang right next to it, so she chose another color direction, and here is the second curtain. I had some more of the dingleberry pompon trim left over from the first curtain, so I put that on the bottom for a little bit of fun. Doesn't this cool print remind you of a bead curtain?

I actually quite like both of them, and was happy to be able to help out my friend, it only took an hour and it is really nice to be able to actually finish something!! I think this was the first thing I've sewn in like a month.

No free shows for the neighbors anymore...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Shadowy Contrasts

For the month of contrast on Self Portrait Challenge, I'm choosing to go into the shadows this week. Examining the contrast between what is really there according to our eyes and what is just a shadow and then what a camera can see.

I was thinking about how I've been feeling lately, "a shadow of my former self" for lots of different reasons . So I took a kinda ordainary shadow picture to illustrate this contrast of how I used to feel about myself vs. how I do now.
I liked how changing this into a black and white view highlights the insubstantial part of my hand holding the camera, but in contrast the rest of me looks much more solid than in the original picture. You can see the road maps right through me.
Feeling even more ghostly and invisible, here I am in the negative view.
I especially like the oval of my glasses and how it indicates where my eyes are.
Guess I'm kinda like Oakland now, at least according to Gertrude Stein: "There is no there, there."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Splendid Salsa & Women of Taste

I've been making salsa from scratch lately. This one was really good, and tasty, kind of tart, and a nice spice to it. It was made using tomatillos from the farmer's market. They look kind of like green tomatoes with a papery husk. But the plant isn't related to tomato at all (same family, different genus). They are funny little fruits and kind of sticky when you take the husk off. I actually grew them from seed one year in my strawberry patch, the plants are kind of sparse and don't make a lot of shade, so it worked out pretty well.
In this first picture, I was missing a major ingredient, the cilantro! OOps... The second picture shows the true color and taste we were looking for.

Here's the super easy recipe for the salsa from The Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent DragonWagon, one of my fave vegetarian cookbooks.
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1/2 large onion, quartered
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, coarsley chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 fresh serrano chiles or jalapeno peppers, stemmed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Buzz until smooth. That's it finito! Now is that fast or what?

I first encountered Crescent DragonWagon (awesome name eh?) in an art quilt/chef exhibit, called Women of Taste, it was a benefit for a great organization called Girls,Incorporated of Alameda County, the exhibit traveled around the country through the Smithsonian. She was paired with quilt artist Nancy Halpern . who was inspired by the chef's evocative name. C&T Publishing put out a great book of the exhibit which is worth finding
as it has great pictures, and a record of the collaboration, letters back and forth between artist and chef. Very interesting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Daylily Dance

My new daylily purchases have actually bloomed. What a nice surprise, I didn't think I'd get any blooms this season. Here are the two that have blossomed.
I love the color combination on this one, it makes me think that a ruffly skirt with these colors might be a good thing to try and make.
The bees are very happy with these flowers. So am I! This yellow/orange one is pretty intense, it just glows. I love how sparkly the petals are in this picture.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Contrast #2

More contrast for self portrait challenge.

This is how I've been feeling from the inside looking out at the world.

Green around the gills with sickness watching the un-feeling, un-thinking political vomitrocious kabuki play out as the world watches, jaw on the floor that America is falling for it again.

"Normal" from the outside looking in.
Whatever normal is for me anyways.

If you were used to looking at my face, you would notice the extra worry wrinkle in my forehead, as well as the bruisy circles under my eyes from staying up late reading political blogs or watching political conventions.