proper clothing for messes

I needed an apron when playing with inks and paints; I figured this out when I found myself wiping my red-ink-stained fingers on my yellow sweatshirt. Nice contrast, yes; no longer a nice sweatshirt. So I pulled out an old denim apron that I used to use in the darkroom, oh, those many years ago. But then came the January/February 2008 issue of ClothPaperScissors magazine with a wonderful article (see page 26) on making an apron from a pair of overalls! So, I went off to a Salvation Army Thrift Shop to find a pair of overalls. I used to have some, once, but gave them away in a fit of cleaning out clothes I wasn't wearing. So now I got a pair of exactly what I gave away (what goes around....).

This is the result. Lots of fun to make, lots of pockets to use. It certainly isn't finished being embellished, but I had to start with some ink on it so that when I actually smeared ink on it, it wouldn't be a surprise :)

The only thing I would do differently, if I were to do this again, is to get a very LARGE pair of overalls. That way the apron would be wider and would cover my sides and hips better than this one does.



When the Fast Friday challenge came out last Friday, I don't know what came over me, but I just HAD to put pieces of two strange fabrics together. And this is the result. The challenge was to use some piece of spam email that we had seen as inspiration. The spam subject line that grabbed me was when ordinary just won't do, and I immediately thought of these women, looking down on one of their own kind who happens to have befriended some really unordinary creatures. (Maybe that's not what is happening at all...I just don't know.)

Maybe it's because I have been making paper collages each week. Maybe it's being annoyed at some recent events in which a woman friend of mine has been treated by her (male) supervisor as though it is the 1950s and women were expected to stay home and men thought they were kings. Maybe it's because my sock monkeys and silly critters evoke all that the world should be like. Maybe it's none of these and just my mind working to clear itself.

Whatever it is, here is a near-duplicate of what I had posted at Fast Friday.


multiple fish

Fish in the Forest
7 inches high x 5 inches wide

There are fish in the forest, hiding, living secret lives. Illustration Friday came and went; the topic this week was "multiple." So many fish, so many stories.


critters need homes

These and other critters need homes. They are looking to move away, hoping to find warmth and sunshine. I say, good luck on that count, but am supporting their initiative.

They are up for sale at MakeThingsWorkshop.etsy.com or see the thing over there on the right. Check it out, let me know if it works.


what is theoretical, what is not

All is Relative
10 inches high x 8 inches wide

"Theory" is the term of the week from Illustration Friday (see link in the sidebar). Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines "theory" in a number of ways, two of which are here: 1) "a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena;" and 7) "guess or conjecture." Too often, folks mistake the second for the first, probably not even knowing that the first exists. This is a strong word, one made untouchable because of the confusion above. And why does that bewilderment exist? Because there are people with ideas that benefit from such a misunderstanding of the term. They are able to use that uneducated perplexity to their own ends, thereby hurting all.


ice and berries

A friend of mine suggested that I make an art quilt of berries in the snow. So I wouldn't forget, I went outside where there are berries buried in ice and snow and photographed them. And this is as far as I have gone in the creation of that quilt. The inspiration is there, and the image is here, so next is to cut fabric and sew, maybe print and fuse. Soon.


life choices

"Pick a Shoe, Any Shoe"
10 inches high x 8 inches wide

"Choose," Illustration Friday said this week. And so I did. All my shoes and boots are either black or red, so deciding which pair of shoes I am to wear each day devolves to whether the red will clash with anything else I am wearing. Black goes with everything in my wardrobe, even whatever brown things I have. But red, well, I wear red shoes with black and white.

And that's where this collage came from.


more winter

When the wind brings the weather from just the right direction, the back windows of my house get covered with whatever the weather happens to be. This is ice from the freezing rain that is going on now. It sounds like little animals scrabbling on the glass—clickclickclickclick—trying to get in. The driveway is slicker than slick; the stairs to the house are dreadful. Good old salt, thrown down, bleaches the deck and the stairs as it changes the freezing temperature enough to melt the ice. In the morning, I will put down more.


what is wrong here?

While driving the back streets of Auburn, NY, yesterday, I came across this sign. It is where those taking the official Department of Motor Vehicles road tests start, on a narrow street in a mixed residential/commercial neighborhood. Sigh.


a blanket accusation

Illustration Friday's word this week is "Blanket." I started with the bed, then the animals insisted on getting on it. Not all of them could, of course. The rhinoceros was scaring some away, and the fish was too big. The geese complained that the blanket was filled with down. The ducks weren't there; what the geese didn't know was that the comforter is filled with duck feathers not goose down...


winter birds

Here they are, the birds in my backyard. I leave my pink flamingos out there because every winter comes a day like this: snow, a bit of sun, and their pink bodies brightening up what is mostly a grey, dark season.