Friday, August 24, 2012

Painting On Fabric Paper

 Fabric Paper is all the rage these days, and we got to try making it back in May at CQFA I missed the first stage where the actual fabric and paper were combined with thinned down glue.  Basically you use any fabric, in this case just plain white cotton, and you glue down layers of papers, arranging them until you like how they look and you've fully covered the fabric.
When it completely dries, the real fun starts which is where I got to jump in.  Thankfully our workshop leader Sue had extra to play with (thanks Sue) so I got to have a try at it.
 I used craft acrylic paints, some metallic in mixed colors.  Some just brushed on with a sponge brush, but mostly I wanted texture and pattern. So I used the tools I brought with me.  Bubble wrap, carpet protectors, Duplos, lace, bamboo mats.
 The possibilities are pretty much endless, because of the combination of what papers you use and what surface design work you do on top.
 Tissue paper, wrapping paper, tissue paper clothing patterns, any interesting paper is fair game to use.

 Those circles are from a Duplo (giant sized Lego for toddlers) dipped in paint and stamped on.
 The background small dots are from carpet protectors.
Fabric paper is much stiffer than fabric of course, but it is still flexible and somewhat sew-able.  There were several examples of journal covers made with this which look like a good use of this material. There were also wall hangings, notecards and ATC's.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Washing Remains

 The tangled mess of threads left after washing a huge pile of batik fabric.  Into the thread scraps jar it goes.
The nicely colored Shout Color catchers and dryer lint also left behind.  Collage material comes from everywhere.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Arrival of Azathoth

 We just went to the pet store to get some new fish for my little tank.  But this guy came home with us too.  Alex had been wanting a rat or something, but I'm sorry, I know rats are smart and can be great pets, but no we have enough of those around already.  So how about Syrian teddy bear hamster?  I'll be honest my biggest concern was how long he's going to be around, since Alex will be going off to college next year.  I told him I didn't want to be looking after his hamster for the next 10 years.  He plans to bring Azathoth to live with him.  What do you think, can a hamster survive living in a college dorm? I guess if parakeets and newts worked, why not?
 Alex read a lot of H.P. Lovecraft this summer, and liked all the names in the Cthulhu stories, so he ended up choosing to call him Azathoth.  Prince of Chaos. Hopefully calling him this won't summon him or anything, not sure I could deal with having one of the Outer Gods as a houseguest.
He's certainly an active little guy, and is fun to play with.  So far so good, as the cats are only mildly interested.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Old and Worn, Still Beautiful

 Found some interesting old textiles at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles rummage sale back in May.  Not sure what I'll really do with them, but I liked the old worn fabrics and stitching and the worn or missing shisha mirrors and couldn't put them down once I'd picked them up.
 According the TribalSouk this is Sindhi embroidery, maybe from early mid 20th century in India/Pakistan (depending on whether before or after partition). Given the shape, these are possibly animal headdresses.  The little loops on the edges would likely have had brass bells.
Not sure if I'll end up using them in a piece, because I wouldn't want to cut them up, and I'm not sure how stable they'd be.  Maybe I should just frame them and hang them up so I can enjoy looking at their interesting colors and textures.  Or perhaps it is finally time to get that goat I've always wanted, and give them something cool to wear?

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Bears Will Not Quit

I had to try it.  Gummi Vodka Bears.
Apparently the "new thing" in bars, replacing Jell-O shots.
I used the Big Bear size, which are about 3x the size of regular gummi bears.  I saw some recipes that used gummi worms and gummi sharks, so anything gummi is supposed to work.  And the only thing I read not to use was Swedish Fish, which are more wax based I guess and they just melt together.

How do they taste you ask?  Well, depends on the color, some of them taste very medicine-ish to me, especially the red, but I've always been sensitive to the taste of food colorings so I'm probably not a good judge on that.  Some just tasted like cheap popsicles, with a blast of vodka.  The texture is still chewy, slightly slimy but not too much and just a little bit squishy.  On the whole, pretty good, and just a fun treat, plus they're pretty, see above.

The "recipe" if you want to try it is to:

  1. Put the gummis in a bowl, I'd recommend glass or ceramic
  2. Mostly cover with vodka
  3. Cover with plastic wrap 
  4. Refrigerate for 2 days or until the vodka gets absorbed completely.  
  5. Don't eat too many at once.  
  6. Hide from teenagers if at all possible (I told him I was keeping track of how many were left!).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Story of Chuck

Earlier this summer, we had an animal attack, and only one of our 3 chickens survived.  Either raccoon or fox made a hole in the chicken wire big enough to get in the coop enclosure. She was really badly injured (half her face is missing, including the eye) and in shock.  We didn't think she'd live long and considered putting her out of her misery, but we didn't have the guts to.  But what do you know, she pulled through and is fine now.  So we named her Chuck (as in Chuck Norris) because she is a pretty badass chicken.  She lived in our upstairs bathroom for a couple months, and eventually learned how to run up and down the stairs.  Guess she doesn't miss having depth perception because birds don't really have it to start with.

Chuck quickly figured out where the cat food was and always made a beeline for the kitchen to steal some (much to the dismay of the very disgruntled cats).  We reinforced the giant homemade rabbit hutch with new welded wire, so she safely sleeps out there at night, but has the run of the backyard during the day.  Now I have company as I garden, she follows me around and eats bugs and weeds and digs little holes to scootch around in the dry dirt.  She seems pretty happy, who knows, she's a chicken after all.  She's a pet all of a sudden though, with her own individual friendly personality. I'm glad that the cats are scared of her and give her a lot of room, but they really keep an eye on her.  We have to make sure to close the door to the backyard or she sneaks in and tries to get to the catfood, guess it tastes good compared to her usual  feed.

It's hard to believe that Chuck can just get along like that, figuring out how to cope with only one eye all of a sudden. But animals are resilient and do what they need to in order to keep living.  Pretty inspirational to me really.  Especially because she just started laying eggs once again.  After all that trauma and almost dying, she's back to normal, a new normal.  Just with a little time and a bit of extra care from her clueless owners.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My First Yarn Bomb Sighting

Hey long time no post! Fun summer stuff has been keeping me away from blogging, sorry about that.  So to celebrate how about this for a fiber-related travel picture?
I finally got to see a yarn bomb real and up-close and in-person at Evergreen State College, while we were visiting my kid Zach up in Olympia, Washington in July.  Pretty cool huh?  I'd only seen all the neat pictures of them online, so I was happy to get to take this picture.  I wonder how long this takes to do? I think the colors chosen go very nicely with the surroundings.