Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Local Yarnbombing- Part 1

I love the subject so much, I'm going to make it a two part post.  I think it's always a good idea to double up on colorful goodness.

As an artist and all around craftastic person, I appreciate things that put creativity into the public's view.  It's one thing to discuss work with your fellow artsy friends or to share projects with your fellow craft lovers.  However, when art is created in public or displayed in a communal area, it adds a whole new dimension.  People who wouldn't normally experience that culture are forced into the middle of it.  Perhaps forced is too harsh a word but I mean it in the most positive context.  This exposure leaves people enriched and curious- curious about the materials, how it was made, it's creator.  Often people are inspired to makes something of their own and in most cases, they are left wanting more.  

I am also a person who believes that there is a fine line between Art and Craft.  There is certainly work that fits into both categories.  Knowing what you do about me, you can understand why I completely fell in love with Yarnbombing the first time I ever heard about it.

Just imagine my excitement when I heard that good ol' Santa Rosa had a bunch of yarn-filled fun happening at the moment.  I was practically beside myself with delight.  The Street Pole Sweater Project was created when Justine of Cast Away, a sweet little yarn store, teamed up with other local businesses and knitters to add a little excitement to a downtown area known as Railroad Square.

Check out their results!  Pure Awesome.

Bikes are EVERYWHERE in Sonoma County!

My favorite little bit.  I have no idea what this pattern is called, but I love it!

This last one makes me think of Little Italy.  How about you?

Doesn't it look great?  It makes me happy every time I see one.  Next part of this post I'll tell you a more about adorable Justine and her awesome shop!  Stay tuned...

Hope that you're enjoying a creative day.  When you get a chance go outside and find something inspiring.  Better yet, leave something inspiring for someone else to find!  You won't regret it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Teaser

Today's Tuesday teaser is for the lovely Lisa.  She was kind enough to send me some goodies for paper crafting and sweet swag from the Renegade Craft Fair.  Awesome stamps from far away lands, an embroidered notebook to feed my paper addiction, blank ATCs, divine twine.... so many bits of wonderful.
Isn't the little strawberry she made so cute?  It hangs on my work bench where I keep special little things that make me happy.  (Here you can, kind of, also see Keni's paper crane and Sam's Guide to 2010.)

As I got together a little bundle of happy for her, it occurred to me- I can't send her something without including something stitchy.  After all, embroidery is what "introduced" us in the first place.  So, I set to work on a pattern that is sooooo her.  Can't show you guys yet, but here's a little preview.
I chose bright and happy colors, because that's what reminds me of Lisa!

 I'll be back soon with tons of things to share.  Now that some major projects have gotten done, I'll have more time for regular blogging.  Yay! 

Hope you guys are having a craftastic day!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hello, Lovelies!

Hi there, Guys...and Dolls.  Sorry it's been so long since I've checked in.  Trust me, I'd much rather be here telling you nice folks about crafty stuff, than job hunting.  However, Mama needs a new pair of shoes.  And groceries.  And a trip to the craft store.  And...well, a lot of things.   And all of that stuff takes money.  Lots of it.  So, alas, I am job hunting.  Thinking happy thoughts!

Between pounding the pavement and spending all day online filling out applications, I have got some fun stuff done.

Specifically, lots of painting.  My poor palette really does need a good cleaning.  However, I'm all out of rubbing alcohol at the moment.  It's fine though, I don't really feel like taking on that task anyways.  Too messy!

Sure is pretty though, isn't it?

Only problem I have when I paint?
 I get paint everywhere.  So many of my clothes have paint on them....bits of our house too.  A spot on the floor here and there, perhaps a little on the kitchen table.  I'm bad.  If the guy sees me painting or calls me while I'm at it, he always asks if I'm wearing painting clothes.  You'd think I'd have learned by now, but no, I'm still ruining things.  When I get the urge to paint, I just pull out stuff and get to it.  If I'm lucky I throw on an apron.  Getting as far as changing my clothes?  Rare.  I have to get better at that!

I'll check in soon to show you a few things that I painted.  And some stitchy stuff!

Hope you're having a creative day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Eight-Year-Olds, Dude.

Holy smokes, 3 posts in one day!  Can you believe it?  Yep, you are that special.

Remember those errands I mentioned on Thursday?  One has been a long time coming.

That's right!  I finally finished The Jesus!!!  Took long enough, huh?  Poor Shannon had to wait forever for him.  I'll be honest, I set him down quite a few times.  Ready to give up and completely start over.  Unsure of my choices and a wee bit over the purple, after having it in several of my recent projects.  But I kept on truckin' and he's finally done.  He's arrived at his new home and now I can share some pictures with you.

(Click for a larger view.)

I ventured a little beyond my usual embroidery style, incorporating paint into this piece.  Feels good to bring my two loves together.  And of course, I had to fit in some metallic floss, even if I was embellishing a bit there.  Perhaps that'll end up being my signature.  I'm not much of a glitter/bling girl but I can never resist the urge to bring a little shine to my pieces.  I don't really know why.

The whole thing is stitched with DMC.  I only used 7 colors and the thickest was 3 strands.  Last time I made my own pattern for the piece.  However, this time I was inspired by the cover art for the book, I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski, illustrated by Bill Green.  Which is a hilarious read, by the way.  It had to be kid friendly and surprisingly, there are hardly any pictures of him online (that don't involve him licking a bowling ball.)

This was the first time that I signed one of my pieces.
I still don't know how I feel about it.  Part of me thinks it's a bit presumptuous, like it really matters, right?  And then part of me thinks, well, I would sign a painting.  So, I'm not really sure.  What do you thing about signing pieces?  Does it make me look like pompous ass?  Honestly.

It Pays...

 It pays to be a smart-ass...sometimes.  That's how I won the fabulous Mrs. Evils doll from Zombie Hoard!

In order to enter the giveaway, you had to answer this question:
If Barbie was in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse, which one of her accessories would she use to kill the Zombies?

This is what I said:
I'm hoping that she would use her super, huge motor-home as some sort of killing machine. She could take advantage of that relationship she's maintained with GI Joe, all of these years behind Ken's back, for an ammo hook up. He could outfit it as a giant pink tank with plenty of guns and they could run away together. Anything they couldn't shoot, they would just plow over. Then just for fun- they could fill up the camper's hot tub with some sort of red bubble bath and they could take a soak. While enjoying the "blood bath"they can sip on champagne and contemplate were they will settle to repopulate the planet with their "perfect" plastic babies.

I think it's perfectly reasonable.

I Love Mrs. Evils!!!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Mrs. Evils? She is a lovely and talented, fellow Sonoma County, crafty lady with a special place in her heart for Zombies.  I should actually say, multi-talented, not only does she stitch but she also makes amazing Barbie art dolls and dioramas.  Oh, and she makes super lovely eyeshadow.  What can't this lady do?  Check out her shop, it's full of awesome sauce. 

Guess what?  I won a Mrs. Evils doll in a giveaway from Zombie Hoard!  Can I tell you how pumped I was to have my very own, one of a kind, masterpiece from the genius herself?  Over the moon!

Here she is, Emanuelle.  The 70's, French clown Zombie. 
She's creepy and bloody...and perfect.  I love it!

Mrs. Evils was gracious enough to answer some questions for me.  So, read on and learn why I adore this hilarious lady!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Just turned 36. In real life I supervise a bunch of kids in a drug testing lab. I have a super awesome guitar playing husband who I've been with for 11 years. I have 3 evil dogs and one evil cat. I don't sleep enough and I watch too much TV. When I'm not drinking Champagne out of the bottle with a straw, (J is my favorite) I drink way too much decaf Constant Comment. I'm pretty awkward in most social situations and I tend to trip and fall down for no real reason at all.

What was your inspiration for My Pretty Zombie?
I started making the zombie barbies on a whim as gifts for friends. Once I found out about Etsy, I needed a name. I wanted something gory, yet girly, which pretty much sums up everything about me. I don't know too many other chicks that like the color pink and fake blood as much as I do.

What was your inspiration for this particular doll?
The inspiration for the 70's French Clown Zombie was from this terrible French 70's almost soft core vampire movie called "Requiem for a Vampire". There was hardly any dialogue, and it made very little sense. The opening of the movie is two girls dressed as clowns shooting at a car that is chasing them and returning fire.
The whole premise of them being dressed as clowns is never explained in the movie, but makes it worth watching for that alone. I had no idea how difficult it would be to make a zombie look like a clown and the whole process took way longer than I anticipated. the snowcone is my favorite part!  (It's my favorite part, too!!)

Besides zombies, what else do you dig?
Barbies, make up, anything gory, horror movies, Trailer Park Boys, totally obsessed with my iphone in general and Tapfish, in particular, and buying all the barbie stuff that I either had or didn't have as a kid. I think it's a midlife crisis thing, but as my husband pointed out, it's cheaper than a ferrari or a boob job.

You know I'm a movie gal, what is your favorite one?
I have so many favorite movies zombies and otherwise that I couldn't pick just one:
*Non traditional zombie: The Signal
*Traditional Zombie: Dawn of the Dead (original and remake)
*Italian Zombie: Zombie
*Campy Zombie: Return of the Living Dead Part 2
*80's slasher: Sleepaway Camp
*Kung Fu Asian: the Mr. Vampire series
*Horror Asian: The Eye 2
*And if asked I'll always take Jason Voorhees over Freddy or Michael Myers.

Who are your favorite artists?
My favorite artist of all time would have to be Mark Ryden. Oh and Tom Savini. More Meat and Blood please!

What would your zombie movie be like?
My Zombie movie would be a non stop bloody gore fest! And totally campy and stupid. I love doing the zombie make up, I think it would be so fun to do a zombie flash mob on Christmas Eve at the mall! Maybe that should be my movie!

Worst zombie movie ever?
I've seen tons, but most have some redeeming qualities. Zombie Honeymoon, on the other hand, couldn't watch it long enough to even get to the zombies...ugh.

Who is your favorite TPB? (Trailer Park Boys- an amazing Canadian TV show that we are in love with!)
This is the hardest question of them all!
My first instinct was to say Corey and Trevor, but then I was like "who am I kidding?! Conky!" Although, the Ricky-isms are such huge part of my life and regular speech. I constantly describe situations and even inanimate objects as being "effed in the head"
I love that show so effing much!

Bonus just for fun- How many tattoos do you have?
Another huge obsession. I'm always plotting out the next one, but I'm running out of room! My favorite one is always whatever one I had done last. Right now its the stiches on my shoulder that makes it look like my arm is falling off.
I started when I was 17 and have been adding steadily for almost 20 years. I'm pretty much covered to mid thigh except for my stomach and my upper chest. When people ask how many, I really don't know how to even count them anymore so I just say "One big one"

Now, do you see why I say she is awesome?!  So, go check out her blog and her etsy.

YAY for Mrs. Evils!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Amazing Ends (And the Winners!!)

Hey there, gorgeous!  Happy Saturday.  Hope you are enjoying a fabulous weekend so far.  

Betcha want to know who the winners are, right?  All in due time, my love, all in due time.  Remember those wonderful end pages I was telling you about?  You have to check them out!  Just a little sneak peak at what the lucky winners will get to be inspired by while sketching and journaling in their new books.

(Click on any picture for a larger view.)

Now do you see why I love Ex Libris Anonymous so much??  Their book journals are filled with so much charm.   I just think of when I was a kid with my arms loaded up as we left the library.

My favorite part!
Brings back memories, doesn't it?  Not every book has this little piece of happy in them.  However, the ones that do are extra special.

So not only does Jacob make an awesome product, but he can make a custom one- just for you!  That's right, for a mere 11 bucks!  You simply send him your book, mark a few pages that you want kept in and he binds it for you.  Then he ships it back to you free!  Can you believe that?  AWESOME.  Now I have my eyes peeled for special books that I want made into journals.  Think of kid's books that little ones have colored in or perhaps an awesome looking book that has seen better days...salvage it!

Oh, and guess what?  He ships internationally.  For only $11.  I can hardly get anything shipped to me from other parts of the US for eleven bucks, that's cheap.  And he'll send up to two books at that price.  Super cheap!  So, show some love for Jacob and his awesome book journals.  Visit his shop and his etsy.  You won't regret it.

Alright, down to business.  THE WINNERS!
The guy helped me by selecting the winners.  So if you are disappointed, please, blame him.  (Sorry, babe, but it's true.)

Ladies, please email me with your address at Mafiosagrrl[at]aol[dot]com, or through FB, Swap-bot, flickr... whatever works for you!  

Congrats to the winners!  If you didn't win, have no fear, I'll be hosting another giveaway very soon!

Thanks for looking!  I'll be back soon with Zombie stuff.  Ohhhh, scary!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Craftastic Swap!

Becky of Strumpets Crumpets thought of the best idea!  A craft supply swap.  A quick and painless way to get rid of some of the unused supplies we have lying around.  You know, that stuff you bought when you had a grand plan for it...but it never worked out.  Or the goodies left over from past projects.

All you do is upload photos of your crafting supplies to the swap's flickr group.  Wait for someone to comment, first person who does gets it.  Easy no?  So go see what you have to swap.

I found some stuff.

Like yarn,

scrap-booking embellishments,

oil cloth,

tiny hangers,

fat quarters,

and sheer fabric.

How about you?  Have anything you aren't using?  De-stash, it feels good.  Then trade it for something you can actually put to good use!