Archive for September, 2010

“Masculine, Feminine” Book Project
September 30, 2010

This is a book project I did in my junior year at Mills for my class, “The Artist Book In A Gendered Space.”* In it’s tag, it is listed as a self-proclaimed “unique artists book made of woven metal sheets, wire, hinges, balsa wood, paint, small pleasingly touchable things, and lots and lots of glue gun.”  The assignment was pretty conceptual; what I was going for was an interesting juxtaposition of supposed “feminine” things (scraps of lace, ribbon and fabric, buttons, a key, rick rack, rhinestone hair pins) confined within a “masculine” space (the solid frame, metal structure, little to no color or frills.)

At the time I was becoming very interested in resin and testing what I could and couldn’t embed in it.  I originally intended to pour resin into the frames to suspend all the objects, but it proved to be harder than I thought to figure out how to create a sealed tray for the resin to stay within.  I like that embedding things in resin makes them like a tiny display, even when they aren’t surrounded by a frame or put in a traditional setting where it is obvious that you are supposed to “view” them.  I think even without the resin, the frames are pretty successful at making it obvious that this is not merely a book with pages, but more like a collection of “works” held together with binding.

I bought the metal screen in the clay molding section at Michaels, and folded pieces into crude pages.  I used some tiny metal hinges and wire to bind the book, and I painted balsa wood black and formed frames for the pages.

This book was featured in an exhibit put on by the class, shown here outside the book art studio at Mills.  There were a few places on campus open to the department where we were able to set up our work for display, which was really exciting.  This exhibit was called “Rendered Gender”.   Each exhibitor wrote an artist’s statement to accompany their book in the case (you can read mine by clicking the link at the top of the page.)  My senior year I also took an independent study on book art where we learned how to curate a book art show, and all the special nuances that go along with displaying books and other 3D works of art.

*This class was, I believe, where the previously mentioned “period book” came from.

The Littlest Dachshund
September 20, 2010

I crocheted this amigurumi dachshund for Rian for our 1-year anniversary.  A few months into our courtship Rian and I got on this kick, kind of an inside joke I guess, about how much we loved dachshunds and how funny they are. It has become a full blown obsession now, and we talk all the time about getting one whenever we move in together.

how could u not luv me, my nickname is sausage dog!

It’s funny because all my life I really have not been an animal person at all – I never grew up with any pets, and friends pets and animals in general kind of turned me off – but for some reason I have been changing. Call it the maternal instinct in me, or whatnot. Also, since my brother has gottten a dog (two years ago now!) and I have really bonded with her, I like spending time with an animal as a companion, it’s just so comforting. They have basic needs, and when those basic needs are met they love you forever! They are especially fun when they have such character and charm as Zowie!

I had originally planned to make this ‘lil badger hound for his birthday in June, but at the time I got really stuck on how to make the face realistic. I had originally gotten the idea here, and just planned to copy it from sight. The original dox has a yarn nose that is sewn in after, and it looks cute as is, but for some reason mine was not turning out the same way, which is why I gave up.

Then a few weeks before our anniversary, I came across a few packages of these plastic safety noses at a garage sale for 10 cents each, and then the idea really started to come together. The nose makes the face look sooooo much more realistic! I started with the face and once I saw that was coming together, the body was a cinch. I wanted to make the body just long enough to be comical, and the ears had to be pretty big. It was an added bonus when I figured out how to sew them on so that they could stick up, if so desired.

we’re going for accuracy here, people.

The really funny thing is that Zowie went crazy when she saw the finished product. I think she recognized the dog face, and thought it was a real life, tiniest dog ever. Of course I had to tease her by making the dox “bark” at her, and pretending to sniff around. She approached with intense curiosity, and a little caution.

Of course, they soon became bff 4evR 🙂

As a bonus feature to this post, I would like to highlight an Etsy shop I recently found that has a special place in my heart and firefox bookmarks…

Young Urban Puppy on Etsy

Click the text or image to be taken to the most amazing Etsy work of art you will ever experience. After a few minutes of browsing, you too, will feel the intense desire to own a mini dachshund of your very own.

Aunt Irma’s Prized Poodle
September 13, 2010

On a recent scouring of Goodwill, I came across this absolutely stunning piece of handiwork, which my mom was happy to model with. It appears to be needlework/latch hook worked onto canvas which was then attached to a carpet sample and mounted on a round plaque. Please notice that the dog is tethered by a gold chain that is attached to a real piece of driftwood.

Do yourself a favor, and click it to view fullsize.

Cutie Crafts
September 11, 2010

I realized I have yet to make a post about the epic visit I had from my nieces a few weeks ago. The girls are extremely crafty, and can spend hours cutting and glueing, so needless to say we all get along very nicely…

Our first venture included a round robin story-writing conference, where we put my many typewriters to good use:

Next, the girls helped me by modeling many new things I have been meaning to put on my Etsy, but haven’t gotten around to taking good pictures of. Maybe their adorable faces will help me sell out of my Etsy slump!

(custom manicure by yours truly)

In a random fit of what some might call insanity, one night while we were sitting around at 11pm Lily asked me to make her a little owl she found in one of my amigurumi books. I started messing around with it and it came out pretty good! I later made Ashley and Emily these two cute little eggs, with a top and bottom shell. Inside is a little ball shaped chick with a beak and eyes. I didn’t get pics though, I was working on those until the morning they left to go back home.. ha!

with the colors she picked, I think it looks more like a parrot.. but cute all the same.


While at great grandpa and grandma’s for dinner, I showed Ashley and Emily how to crochet. They wanted to learn how to make a ball, so they could make some amigurumi too, so we started with making a square and worked our way to 3D. Ashley took off, but Emily couldn’t quite get in the groove things, until we switched her from crocheting with her right hand to doing it with her left. All the sudden it clicked! So interesting.

this picture cracks me up because they have the EXACT SAME EXPRESSION. concentration face!!!

Here’s a video I made of Emily explaining how to start out, when crocheting.

I really wish I hadn’t stopped the camera when I did, because at the end of the video she says “now, should I show how to start?” as in start crocheting. When I said no, or shook my head, she goes “GOOD, UGH” and everyone laughed!

Last but certainly not least, I broke out a bunch of clearance paper I bought from work for this exact occasion and we all went to town. I had been working on my knitting zine and the girls were very intrigued by a few paper punches I had lying around. And who can resist a pair of decorative-edged scissors??

Portland Zine Symposium Summer 2010
September 7, 2010

Well, it seems I am still recovering from the symposium, a week and a half ago.

I had a really amazing time, met lots of people, saw many familiar faces, and was completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of impressive and wonderful things that people brought to trade and sell.

I made many sales as well as trades, which I haven’t done as much of in the past. It’s really nice to be able to think of your goods not only as something worth money to others, but something that is as good as money, and a bargaining tool! My most popular item by far was the Left-Handed Knitter.  I sold several packages of Beat Writers Notebook series, one to a journalist who remembered interviewing Allen Ginsberg and told me a great story about driving around with him looking for Kerouac’s mom’s house in Florida some twenty-five years ago.  I gave out a ton of business cards for both my Etsy and this blog, which I hope may bring in a few new interested readers. If you are reading this post as a result of a business card you picked up at the symposium, please say hi in the comments!

Most notable of my sales, I sold 6 of my new zine The Left-Handed Knitter (etsy link forthcoming) to the Multnomah County Library. They have quite an extensive zine collection and are very wonderful about supporting the local zine community. They bought one copy for each of their locations in the greater Portland area, so my zine will be available to check out! I’m really excited about this, and can’t wait to see what kinds of feedback I get on the site and my work.  Very exciting news.

These covers were a little agonizing to cut… The creative part of my mind works so much faster than the logical, planning part. I get these genius ideas but never think through the production and definitely underestimate any time it will take to complete things. But somehow it always seems worth it in the end!

Nichole made a really cute banner for her table with her main zine name, Little Lady. This is our third year tabling together, I’m so glad she decided to come out of her tabling hiatus to hang out with me this year!

Here’s the muscle who helped me lug all my crap in, and most charmingly peddled my wares! Rian also gets credit for all the pics. Boyfriend of the year!

And so ends this year’s zine symposium… and I’m already looking forward to next year! I have a few zines in mind to start working on this winter – my mom has been trying to talk me into making a zine with short stories/accounts of awful, funny, awkward, and furious encounters I have with customers at my work, of which there are many. I think this would be ultimate if I could accompany the stories with comical little drawings, which is something I may have to contract out. I also was thinking of making a mini-zine with my funniest twitter updates.. though I’m still wondering whether anyone else will find me as hilarious as I find myself. While walking around, Rian and I were inspired by a little zine about wiener dogs, and I think we should try out hand at our own fanzine.. Well, I have a whole year to think about these things! Stay tuned for further posts on the library’s catalog, I’ll let you know when my zine is available for checkout!