Monday, March 28, 2011

Poem: Dollhouse


Sequestered indoors,
I become
            acutely aware of my size,
and its changeable nature.
I swell and shrink, like a painted “magic” washcloth
            and without the moisture of those around me.

This is a doll’s house,
the details of life
pixilated and blurred
constructed on a scale
larger than my own.
The walls are far away,
their curvilinear structures
staying, always, at a distance
                        as I move closer,
they repel my magnetic edge.

I am made of paper
            of the thickest kind,
my appearance changed by folding the tabs
over my corners.
My movement sounds
like tack board on the wind
            wobbly and angular,
I go through the motions.
Dwarfed by my material constants
            in this tilt shift perception. 

Image by CountLazarus

Marian Mobius Cowl

This is one piece I'm having a hard time parting with.  The yarn is so soft and the color is so dynamic that I just want to cuddle it non-stop until the end of my days.  But since it was made for such a dear friend, I will cut the cord and send it to her.  It just means I'll have to cuddle her instead when I trek out to Boston to visit her (which is the superior alternative, for sure!)

Everything about making this cowl was an absolute TREAT!  I bought the yarn at this adorable shop in Chicago called Sister Arts Studio.  Finding it was a true discovery.  My cousin and I spent most of the weekend aimlessly wandering around Chicago re-exploring the city, and at this point in the day we were lost and hungry and feeling annoyed after taking a wrong turn and walking 5 blocks in the wrong direction.  We happened upon a welcoming looking window across the street and crossed to take a peak inside thinking for sure we'd only be able to look since everything around it was closed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wild Fermentation

I'll admit, fermented vegetables used to be one of the last things that would make me say, "oooOOooo, that sounds good."  But, I was thiiiiis close to buying Wild Fermentation from a bookstore in Wicker Park while we were in Chicago last weekend, because my interest in all things fermented has been rising since I've realized the potential for creativity (which is what I'm all about).  I'm kicking myself a little now because I've been recently re-inspired to go deeper into the fermented abyss after attending a fermentation workshop led by a friend from the farm.

Tantre Farm, where I worked last growing season, has been the birthplace of many great things, including The Brinery, a business started by David Klingenberger, specializing in fermented vegetables produced using the process of lactofermentation, as outlined in Wild Fermentation, along with how to make kombucha, miso, beer, sourdough starter etc.  Through my position at the co-op, I was able to help facilitate a workshop lead by David and took some photos during the class.

People came. People learned. People brined.  And it was good.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Universal Mysteries

A friend posted a link to this cool public art project in New Orleans: Before I Die . . .  The artist installed a chalkboard on a neglected building to form an interactive wall with the words "Before I die I want to . . ." repeated and a place for the viewers to fill in their own answers.  The same concept was used in a gallery installation, but I love the idea of putting this out on the street.

Empty spaces on city walls are often filled up with ads (thanks, capitalism) that instill feelings of discontent, inadequacy, and a false sense of who we are and should be in life, and this project does the opposite; It shows us that we are not so different.  We all have the same core values and needs in life (except for the guy who said he wanted to be "tried for piracy" before he dies.)  But even the differences that this project points out display them in a way that is celebrated, as it should be.  It also speaks to the brevity of life and encourages us to focus on the things that are truly important (like not forgetting your own Mother's birthday, as I did last week . . . terrible offspring.)

This project reminded me of an activity I did with my students when I was teaching a small class for college freshmen.

Monday, March 7, 2011

How to: Up-cycled Cardigan

Eventually, it happens to us all . . . we become our mothers.  There's just no stopping it.  It's an inevitability, a force beyond our control.  For me, one of the many ways this manifests is as a love of cardigans.  Every once in a while, I get an urge to try to thwart my frumpy destiny by making my cardigans more fun.  Here are some tips on how to do it yourself. . . .

The Old T-shirt Way:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Recycled T-shirt Purse

Holy scrap fabric, Batman!  This weekend was super crafty.

This surge of crafty super-power was fueled by my happening upon Lee Meredith's website, or should I say sites because she has several dedicated to her various pursuits (an ADD crafty friend. . .I'm not alone in the world).  I was so inspired that I went a little crazy. . .I made 3 purses (as per Lee's Recycled T-shirt Purse Tutorial), one tank top, re-vamped a boring cardigan, and started a knitting project.

Here are some photos of the purses I made with her tutorial:

They make nice bags to carry around a knitting project.

If you think that sounds like a full load, check out her website, do stuff, which includes her knits, up-cycled clothes, paper and fabric art, jewelry, photography, hand-spun yarn, and a plethora of aesthetically inspired small projects.  If it weren't for the fact that she probably doesn't live in Michigan (and that I'd be a super creep for suggesting it) I think we could be BFFs!