Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How Not to Do It.

After Action Report: Mission: T-shirt Tornado

Little Flyer Reporting.

2009 June 16
1030 -Receive via UPS 45 white, 100% cotton t-shirts, sizes XS to 3X.

2009 June 17
0630 -Scour 15 t-shirts, mixed sizes.

0715 -With shirts in washer, fill washer to medium level
with 110 degree Farenheit water.

0730 -Prepare ammunition using 3 TBS. turquoise dye powder.
Add to agitating washer.

0745 -Add ammunition support: 1 C soda ash to agitating washer.
Reset washer to agitate for 15 minutes. Leave area of operation.

0805 -Realize washer has drained completely due to
screwdriver depressing lid's safety switch,
allowing artist to watch agitation as entertainment.
Also allows full cycle to proceed. All dye and soda ash
not attached to shirts lost forever.
Dye recipe and careful calculations are out the window.

0806 -Contemplate success of mission. SNAFU early in
process does not project favorable outcome. Artist thinks
objectionable language.

0830 -Artist AWOL.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Be Inspired

Hello, Blogophiles,

I've noticed a rash of bloggers posting about inspiration this morning. Here are a few of my faves, in case the cyberverse doesn't take you to the same haunts I frequent.

Lorraine Glessner:

Lorraine is a mixed media artist and an academic. She posts work from a wide variety of artists. This feeds my eyes and my soul.

Sandy Snowden:

Sandy is a garment-head from the UK. Today, she has posted about finding inspiration in photographs. She encourages us all to look at our photo collections a bit differently to find inspiration. Fire up that camera!

Christine Predd:

Christine is an art quilter who posts "Tuesday's Ten", a list of 10 inspirations that riffs on one subject. Today's flavor: Scents. It took me straight to Olfactory Heaven. Check it out.

As for me, stamp carving is on hold this week. I'm knee deep in planning for an event next week. Will post more about that tomorrow. I can still think about stamp carving, just can't pick up the tools, or nothing else will get done.

So that you're not left completely fiberless, I'll share a little knitting, my "waiting for kids" passtime:
I like pink.  Pink is Good.
This is a sock trial based on Cat Bordhi's new book. For those not in the know, Cat is to knitting what the globe was to Flat Earth believers. She's the knitter's physicist and I find her to be very inspiring.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More Carving

My Dick Blick order arrived and I've finished two more blocks. Here's their battleship grey linoleum in action:
what a pain
It's hard, slick, and crumbly. The hardness stresses my already overused right arm and shoulder, though it does hold a nice, fine line. The tool slippage I experienced felt a little out of control. I don't have one of those nifty carving benches that let one brace the block in place while carving. Might have to work on that. And the small dots I'd envisioned carving flaked right off. Maybe my tools aren't sharp enough. At least it was cheap.

Behold Wonder Cut:
looks edible
I like this stuff, though haven't tried to carve anything too detailed. It cut more easily (not as easy as soft-kut or erasers). It's less crumbly. Plus I like the bigger size of the pieces I bought. My dh mounted this on plywood with wood glue. It seemed to hold up to printing and washing.

this is what ignoring housework looks like

I didn't care to work with the grey stamp. It's smaller and my throbbing shoulder was mad at it. Plus, my last carving rendered similar images. The Warrior-Elf was delighted. She made this:
monkey-elf must help
I like it. She had fun. It's all good.

My first shot, not so much. Whenever I see sponge painting done like this, it makes me cringe:
looks like a bad sponge paint job

Here, the block is repeated differently and printed more closely together, even overlapped in places:
looks almost like I know what I'm doing
I dig this. The bigger block covers more turf. It gives an all-over feel without the hassle of registration marks and even looks almost random. I think this stamp might deserve a run on fabric. What do you think?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Garden and Kid Post

Tomorrow, I'll share the stamps I carved today. Tonight, I talk about my daughter and one of my Fiber Heros: My Grandma.

Every year, my Grandma Tanguay comes to life in my yard. She lived for her flower gardens (and her fiber arts). Now she lives through the flowers transplanted from her yard. She insisted that these day lillies and irises belong in the same bed because they bloom together:
blooming together

She called the lillies "Lemon Lillies":

She had a huge bed of the lillies and these irises all intermingle...30+ years old.
Don't some people call these Blue Flags?

God rest her soul. I miss her, even though I didn't see her very often.

Grandma also passed on the gift of foot dna.

Consequently, in Kid News, the Monkey-Warrior-Elf will be having super powers put in her feet sometime after her 12th birthday. In the mean time, she gets orthotics, $100 sneakers, ibuprofin when they really hurt and a warm rice bag at bed time.

Orthotic Molding: better than mucky puddles.
Gooshy is Gooood

Friday, June 05, 2009

More Stamps

Behold! Three carved stamps. They're carved into something like E-Z Cut. In pursuit of finer detail, there are several grades of linoleum heading toward me right now.

And then, stamped on paper:
The left sample is my favorite. I like the way the stamp tiled to make an all over pattern. The middle comes in next. It's not an all over pattern, but I like the diamond shape in a half drop repeat. I think the left sample is called a half drop rotation because the stamp is flipped every other row. Half drop patterns amuse me. The sample on the right simply sucks. I haven't yet found a pleasing way to print that stamp.

The Monkey must also carve:
She's planning to use her stamps on a wooden sword her brother carved for her....part of her Elvin Warrior persona.

The Monkey-Elf herself:

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Thoughts on Motherhood and Alone Time

These images are not the best, but they do show what I've been up to:

Carving, lots of carving.
The big squiggle is mine, the others were done by my daughter.

Sample print of the squiggle:

My daughter made the letters as gifts for twin highschool graduates that used to babysit for us. I took the liberty of stamping some stationary for them. The tiny stamps were suppose to be lower case A's. They looked like leaves to me.

Sometimes it's hard for me to let my kids create along side me. This causes no end of guilt. I crave creative time for myself, yet am fully aware of the blink that is childhood. Soon they will be gone. There will be more silence than I can stand. So, I carve, she carves. We bump elbows and use the tool the other has been waiting for. She uses up all my stamp material, I order more. She learns the value of a handmade gift, the personal touch. We sing and chat about life. How can I deny the blessing of camraderie with my child?

She fusses with bows:

The gifts are ready and we're off to the party:

Monday, June 01, 2009

Time Warp

Hello Blogophiles. It appears that I have time for a post. Doesn't this make you happy? It makes me happy.

Let us go back in time a bit and chronicle certain events from my spring.

3 of these tax exemptions are mine. The 4th is somebody else's, but she fits in well with our family. Photo taken in April. We're standing in line for a free, open seating concert. We're praying the wind does not rip the meat off our frozen bodies. Note the Calvin imitator back left.

what is it??
Your very own Super Spec (moi) rigged up for a sleep study. Turns out that even though I stop breathing 5 times per hour and sustain a 93% blood oxygen level, my condition is not severe enough to warrant insurance coverage of the recommended equipment. So now, not only am I a spec in the face of the universe (and my charming insurance company), but I am not properly rested. This makes me surly.

Girl Time
good medicine
See Mary. See Mary laugh. See Mary not wet herself while laughing.

smile pretty
See Lynn. See Lynn hide behind her camera. See Lynn take my picture.

ooo, pretty colors
See Mary's quilt. See all the pretty colors.

More about this episode of Girl Time here.