Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Another Life...

I keep these photos of myself (circa 1985) in a little basket on my bureau, and every now and then I come across them as I'm looking for something else. I'm usually instantly transported back in time, and depending on my mood, get all nostalgic or think, "Man, was I ever young then!"

I post them for you here now, just so you know that I did indeed have a crazy haircut (unfortunately I never documented the bright red mohawk), had sharp metal studs on my clothes, and was a little on the moody side. I gave the jacket to the Sally Ann several years ago, I hope that some angsty young teen treasures it now.

I could go on about the time Dee Dee Ramone asked me for a valium, or the drunk-out-of-my head punk rock dancing at Luxury Bob's, but maybe I'll save it for the TV movie.

I'm off this weekend to Seattle, to go to Bumbershoot, see the New Pornographers and Dengue Fever, and hopefully meet the Yarnharlot, who is part of a panel discussion on the Home Ec Revolution.

There's nothing like fun for a good time!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Matisse T (and Bonus Eye Candy)

I've become quite enchanted by Henri Matisse since reading Hilary Spurling's wonderful 2 volume biography of him. She vindicates him on the sexist pig front, but more amazingly, brings out what a huge influence textiles had on his art. And his colour sense is astonishing.
So, for the latest Whiplash contest, I decided to create a t-shirt based on the 1947 painting "Palmette", which uses vivid magenta pink on an orange ground.

I used two old plain t-shirts in pink and orange, realising that the two colours create a visual dissonance and have to be just the right distance apart on the colour wheel. Luckily the ones I had were workable. I drew several shapes a la Matisse and when I had what I thought would work, traced them on to Heat'n'Bond. I made the front design different from the back. My pink shirt had a better fit, so I switched the colour arrangement and ironed the design onto the orange shirt. Cut out the shapes, found a placement I liked and bonded them onto the pink shirt.

At this point I saw that the shapes didn't stand out quite enough, so I chose some rich brown embroidery floss and sewed a simple running stitch around the edges. This took a little longer than I thought, but I put the DVD of Casanova on and had a very enjoyable time sewing. (I recommend the movie, I mean my god it's Venice, the cinematography is glorious, the costumes sumptuous, and Heath Ledger is extremely easy on the eyes.)


This should go in the embellish/decorate category.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Saved by the Stash

Last week, I went a little nuts and ordered some fabric from Craft Connection. Well, ordering fabric in itself may not be nuts, but when one has several lifetimes worth of fabric in the cupboard, why order more?

It was a totally cool print, perfect for my next outfit for the Workless Party Party.
It arrived in a couple of days and since I had a load of washing going, I thought I'd be efficient and throw it in. That sort of thinking has worked 99% of the time before, but I didn't notice I had a piece of burgundy cloth in there that was bleeding all over the damn place. I took out my new Los Muertos fabric and it was pink!
Now pink skeletons just don't cut it. I ran to the drawer where I keep my dyeing supplies (and of which I often ask myself, "Why am I keeping all this around whgen I hardly ever dye anything?") I grabbed some theorea dioxide and the synthrapol. First I tried re-washing the fabric with the TD, hoping it would lift the pink but not the print. It didn't do anything, so I did another cycle with the synthrapol, which also did nothing. Argy argy.
Finally, I just figured I would overdye it with a yellow green, hoping to get a light brown. I got the Procion Mx dyes from the stash, mixed golden yellow and bright green together and...

It worked!! Turned out kind of muted and aged looking, which I liked way better than the original fabric. Wheww!

After all that excitement, it began to rain. I walked to the grocery store without an umbrella, just enjoying the light rain on my face. Such a nice change. This morning my garden looked like this:

Summer is expected to return later this week. That's fine, I know there are more than enough rainy days coming soon. But I'd like to see my bronze fennel standing back up a little while longer.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cloth That Makes Me Giddy

Some kimonos from my fabulous friend Jean-Pierre arrived today. I got so excited by the fabrics and linings I had to take some pictures.