14 June 2009

deconstructing a pattern.

I decided today to make a pair of cropped pants. And, armed with a Jo-Ann Fabrics 50% off coupon, I went and bought some cotton batik in a brown/gray/purple color. I had an idea in mind of what I wanted to do, but there weren't any patterns for it. A few years ago, I saw a tourist in India wearing a pair of pants that also wrapped like a sarong. It took me a while to find out what they were, because they weren't Indian, and I'd never seen anything like them. I came to learn that they were Thai fishermen's pants, and proceeded to try to order a pair. Now, they're getting a little more common online, because people wear them for yoga.

Here's where things went south. I am a chunky little thing, and these pants come in one size. They don't fit largely enough for me to be able to wrap them around the right way. So, I thought I'd try to alter a pattern and fudge my own pair. What I got isn't quite the same as the Thai pants, but I really like them! Don't look at my chub . . . just at the pants.

This is the pattern I used--Simplicity 2611. Instead of adding the little "drop waist" panel, I just used the FRONT and BACK pieces of the pattern. Rather than cutting the pattern in my regular size, I added three inches to each outer side of the front, and two inches to the outer side of each back panel. This added 10 inches to the circumference of the pants. I also added four inches to the top of the pattern pieces, since I was leaving off the separate panel. I cut the pattern to make the cropped version of the pants [in blue stripes, or View B, on the pattern envelope]. I sewed all four pieces together as usual, then hemmed the waist edge and the legs. I tucked over the front of the pants and pulled them to one side, marked the places where I'd need to add fasteners or ties, and then did that. The front received a tie, as did the right side seam. In the front of the pants, I added two velcro squares just to keep the pants tucked securely. I think they came out great . . . like I said, not quite the Thai pants, but cool and comfy and very easy to pack for my upcoming trip!

13 June 2009

A Work in Progress.

So, my Mother's Day gift is REALLY late. I kept thinking I was going to cross-stitch something to go with a few items I'd picked up, but it didn't happen. I thought about having a Claudine Hellmuth done of my mom, but the custom canvas pieces are too pricey for me right now. Then, I realized, I could totally do something similar myself! So, this is about halfway through . . . I still have a bit of detail and a beeswax coating to put on it.

To explain, my mom's name is Shine. And, she's a very positive person--never hateful, always optimistic, always expecting people to do the right thing. So, over the years, my dad and brother and I have taken to saying she "lives in Shinesville," meaning it in the same way that someone would say another person "sees the world through rose-colored glasses." So, I thought that she might like a little artwork that has her holding a banner that reads "Welcome to Shinesville" to hang in her new home office.* The photo of her head comes from a photo from 1965 or 1966, when she was in beauty school.*

I love her, and I think this is going to be very cute when it's done! Hopefully, my beeswax will be melted by morning, and I'll then be able to start sealing it up. I want to be able to take it with me when I leave town on the 18th. Late Mother's Day presents have to suck . . . so I'm hoping she'll forgive me a little bit.

*She went on to become a nurse, then a case manager, and now she works for an insurance company as a hospital liaison. She'll start working from home in late July . . . a perk of her job.

A free image.

here's a baby . . . i just picked this cabinet card up this morning for 50 cents at an antique shop in downtown roseburg! apparently, this is what mouth-breathers look like as infants. For a bigger version of this image, and for more free images, visit my flickr page--the link is in my blog's left-side column!

Dude Craft

So, I found this awesome blog . . . it's really neat, and I love that it's also from a guy in Durham, NC. I have a friend from grad school that lives there, so I can imagine that HE is dude craft. LOL. Dude Craft

12 June 2009

My New Art Banner!

Art Banner Closeup
Originally uploaded by amyfaerie
My friend roc hosted a little private swap, and each of us sent in pennants with A, with R, and with T on them. We received one of each in return, each by a different artist. These are artists I've never traded with [deb, melinda & shelley] so that was fantastic--AND i love how the three pennants look together! I tacked them here on my studio counter, but i need to find them a more permanent home.


I'm done grading and posting my grades to the campus database! WOO HOO! I'm here for another 90 minutes or so, to pass back assignments to students who drop by, but I'm done for a while!

I'm teaching an online literature course that runs for 10 weeks of the summer starting on June 22, and I'll be teaching an on-campus writing course in August, but overall, I don't have to be back here on campus until July 27.

I have commencement ceremonies tonight, a meeting in Eugene on Tuesday, then I'm leaving for Indiana/Pennsylvania/Virginia on Thursday of next week. So, I have a little time between now and then--five days or so--to cuddle my cats, hug my hubbie, and enjoy my little house & its garden. :)

I'm only taking colored pencils, a little travel watercolor kit, and some bristol board with me on my travels, so that I can also take my writing journals and laptop with me and actually FOCUS on my writing. I need to write more, and revise older work, and get manuscripts out in circulation this summer. Many chapbooks and first books contests are opened in summer, so I have to do something!
Art Trader
So, I was asked to step in and serve as an assistant editor for Art Trader magazine for a while, as one of their current editors takes a break from the job. I am thrilled--I think it will be great fun, as I've not edited anything besides student work in ages, and because it combines writing/editing with art, which is something that doesn't happen all that often for me, outside of my journals.

07 June 2009

Be Kind.

so this is new at Vintagraph, and i think i may need to order a print of it for my office. i love their restorations of vintage posters, but usually because they're to circumvent syphilis outbreaks and to advertise milk . . . this one, like all book- and reading-based crap in the universe, has been filed in my very exclusive mental folder--"Bluestocking Stuff." I must own it, or spend a lifetime coveting it. Vintagraph's prices are really reasonable, too, so I think that later in the summer, once I'm back from my travels, I'll order it and have it framed.

03 June 2009

Almost at the end. And the beginning!

So, it's been a hectic two weeks here, between home issues and school work . . . but I'm almost at the end of the term. Two more days of classes, then final exam week. So, a firestorm of grading this coming weekend, then a small break.

On June 18, I'm flying to indianapolis for three days of meeting friends and creating art with a group of 40 to 50 mail art friends from a few online communities. It's a small gathering at a hotel--not so much a formal conference like the ones I go to for teaching. I'm really excited--almost all of these people are friends that I've not met IRL, so I'm sure I'll take hundreds of photographs. I'm also giving a little workshop on how to make resin-coated rolled paper beads. There are about 8 of us giving workshops, I think. :)

Last April, I went to an art weekend at Shelley's house at the NJ shore, and there I met several artists--both Shel [shoreart] and Dar [artedar] are coming to this Indy weekend. And, Shirley [lilbad], who lives in Eugene, OR, is also going, and I met her when I first moved here. So, other than that these will all be first-time meetings!

I'm sharing a hotel room with Heidi, who is coming from Canada, and with Katie V., who is from Indiana. Heidi's a new addition to our room, as of tonight, but I'm excited! She trades her art using the Artist ID "Siena" at atcsforall.com, and her artwork is lovely.

I fly into Indy at 9:30 pm on Thursday, and two other artists I've not met, Mary [malicea10] and Debra [goatgoddess], are picking me up at the airport. That should be very cool, too. I'm trying to decide how much of my art-supply stash I can jam into one carry-on and one checked bag. LOL!

01 June 2009

One of my favorite writing quotes.

This is attributed to Anne Sexton, the late American confessional poet.

"Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard."

I use it in my artwork often, too . . . it's much more than a "writing quote," in my opinion--for anyone seeking a muse, trying to find a voice, looking for the "right" way to express oneself, these are words to live by. [Or, as the English teacher in me would like to say, words by which to live.]

By the way, this is my favorite photo of Sexton . . . she was a glamorous woman, almost always photographed with a cigarette in her hand.