March 26, 2008
Quickly, because I'm on my way out of town for a conference: my thesis exhibition is installed. All I have to do now is write my thesis, teach my class, catch up working on the silkscreened book that I've been slacking on in order to do thesis show stuff, maybe start a new body of work. Make prints without a goal. Make stuff for the etsy shop.
I have a good deal of sleep debt to pay off.
Some images from the last few days of installation prep:
More on the thesis blog.
March 20, 2008
let's make the most of this beautiful day
March 16, 2008
penny candy on the brain
Last night I dreamed I stole a pack of Lik-m-aid from a store (no link, because I wasn't able to find a picture anywhere of what the packages looked like in the seventies when I used to eat the stuff; it had only two envelopes of powder, not three like it does now, and a picture of one kid with a giant head. Incidentally, while searching for a Lik-m-aid photo I discovered that you can still buy those Necco candy button things, remember those? Little dots of candy arranged in lines on a piece of paper you licked them off of, like sweet and colourful acid tabs. If that's not a gateway drug then I don't know what is, kids).
So anyway. Stole a pack of Lik-m-aid, then after I was in the clear and had a look at it I realized I'd grabbed the orange-and-purple powder pack that I never liked instead of the green-and-red one I adored. Then I thought, I'm a grownup now, maybe it's time I got over my dislike of fake orange flavour. And I forced myself to eat it (although I still ate up the orange first in order to use the grape to get the orange flavour out of my mouth).
Yes, I dreamed about rationalizing to myself about having stolen the wrong colour of candy. I know. Lame.
Speaking of old stuff from the seventies, today for the first time I had a look at the pile of old litho inks that sits unused on a shelf marked "oldies" in the studio. Some of them have never even been opened, and they represent five different iterations of Handschy's label design. I started taking pictures when I noticed the date on one of the cans was Nov 14 1984 (older than some of my colleagues!):
Then I noticed that the blue ones are even older.
It's hard to see, but the can at the bottom left says 1976. The two on top say Oct 1971. That's two months older than me, folks.
I had a look inside one of the 1971 cans and found that the ink is no stiffer than the brand new can I've been using of the same colour (you can see the mark where I stuck my finger in to check):
These will doubtless all be thrown out in the move to the new building this summer. I'm thinking about taking some of them home with me and using them, just because. Because we are the same age.
Courtney recently linked to an old blog post in which she described eating her wedding cake after it had been in the freezer for six years and it reminded me of this: my parents kept a section of their wedding cake that was made of styrofoam but had real icing on it, and they stored it on the top shelf of my bedroom closet, and when I was about four or five I found it. The day I discovered that treasure up there was like those finding (or stealing?) candy dreams: glorious and gluttonous. Over the next few months I slowly savoured every last bit of hardened white icing, every crusty, dusty rosebud. The taste of the bits of stale styrofoam still clinging to the inside of the chipped candy is still vivid in my memory. Eventually my closet snacking was discovered and although I don't remember it, I'm sure I caught hell, but y'all know it was totally worth it.
March 13, 2008
a better photo of miss henry
March 12, 2008
meet miss henry
started early January, 2008, completed March 6, 2008
mods: none, except to make it small enough to fit more snugly than the pattern calls for.
yarn: a sturdy and super-soft wool/acrylic/alpaca, recycled from a secondhand sweater (the full front of that sweater is left over, not yet unravelled).
verdict: LOVE IT. You can see from the photo that it could have been a little larger after all, but I'm not worried because I know that recycled wool relaxes a little bit with wear. I especially love the garter stitch collar, so much that now I wish all of my sweaters had garter stitch collars.
It was tough for me to control my usual desire for high contrast, but these vintage catalin buttons are absolutely perfect:
Wanna know who my button pusher is? Sure you do.
March 10, 2008
that kind of day
The first day that Peter leaves here always feels like a write-off even if it's actually semi-productive. I see him off in the morning and immediately head to the studio to try to overcome the empty feeling by forcing myself to work. And I did do quite a bit of work, printing a layer onto six dresses and eighteen prints, but I've got my system down so well by now that this is less than two hours of work, after which I was back at home on the couch, watching Sopranos, knitting, feeling empty. I managed not to totally fall apart and eat popcorn for supper (like last time), but I felt like I could have gotten more out of my day.
This is the last such day I can have for a while, because my installation has to be delivered to the museum on the 24th (yeah, so the other day when I said I had 24 days? I was in denial, it was really only 21 days. Don't talk to me about it). The list of things yet to be done is actually not that daunting, I just need to have good time management. Here's the list:
-finish two large prints (really only an hour or two of work, tops, just a few more layers of solid colour for the most part)
-print a map legend (letterpress);for this I still need to get downtown and buy paper and carve a couple of little lino blocks (or make photopolymer plates if I can remember how to use the platemaker)
-silkscreen 20 tags, then fill them out (with typewriter and date stamp)
-clean out cabinets, sand, paint
-build a little table for the cabinets to rest on (not as big a project as it sounds)(still need to pick up materials)
-assemble hanging system for prints (need to buy pvc pipe, dowel)(can't finish this until book cloth order comes in)
-make 20 books (again, not as big a job as it sounds, probably two full days work)(need to buy paper for this too)
-and of course continue to print, wear and document dresses until the last day, March 23 (last day before delivery of work)
I also have to make one more new dress, which will be a transitional garment that I'll wear for a week, starting on the day I deliver my work to the museum. I think that's everything, though. For those of you who know how this installation is coming together, if you think of anything I've forgotten, please don't bother to remind me. I can assure you I'll think of it at 4 in the morning and it'll be enough to keep me awake until the alarm goes off, but for now I'd like to believe that this is all of it.
I did manage to get Miss Henry blocked today, a mere three (maybe four) days after finishing all of the knitting. I've all but given up trying to get a decent photo of the colour.
I'm now trying to avert my eyes when I walk past the blocking towel in the middle of the floor, ignoring how small she looks while I use all of my mental powers to will her to fit. I wanted the fit to be trim and close, less blowsy than the pattern photo, but now that she's laid out there the old fear is upon me, that my belly will be hanging out of the thing in an unsightly manner. We shall see. For now I'm pretending to have faith in my mental powers, and if those fail, well, it's not like I ever button a sweater over my gut anyway.
I also finished the back of Alice, who has been enjoying a turn out of the cupboard now that every other sweater I'm working on is too big to carry around in my satchel. I'm well on the way to having one of the fronts finished as well; a few more episodes of Sopranos ought to take care of that.
March 03, 2008
That's how many days left until I go home. And on the 70th day, I'm going to Green Island Centre (corner of Wyandotte and Louis, if you're ever in Windsor, and highly recommended) and having a grape leaf sandwich for lunch. I may even have two.
Days until my installation has to be delivered to the Museum? Twenty-four. Let's not discuss that again, hmm?
In knitty news, Miss Henry (Ariann) is so close to completion I can taste it. I've just started on the collar, which is a four-inch garter stitch walk in the park, and have only about four ends to weave in (oh, spit splice, how I adore thee). Even though yesterday afternoon was t-shirt weather here in Georgia, there was still frost on the grass when I first went out in the morning, and tomorrow it's supposed to rain all day long (100% chance, they're saying, which hardly makes one want to bother getting out of bed), so I have confidence that I'll still have a few cool mornings on which to wear her after she's blocked and be-buttoned. And once I've triumphantly shown her off, I'll finally get around to writing about stash, and the busting thereof.
Speaking of busting stash: one of the nicest things that yarny friends can do for you when you're on a self-imposed full halt in stash enhancement is send you yarn in the mail. Just before our departure to Baltimore a box full of awesome arrived in the mail from Stacie:
Not only did Stacie send me some lovely handspun yarns, there's also fancy little dish (which I'd pretty much already filled up with safety pins before I'd gotten it all the way out of the box) and two hand bound books: a gorgeous limp vellum (a binding I love but have never tried myself), and another soft binding whose name I can't remember but which is totally cool, with two paper cover pieces that weave through each other. I joked to her that I finally understood how those people felt, the ones who would look at my blank bookbindings and say "oh, they're so lovely, I'd be afraid to write in them" (to which I would reply that I used mine for grocery lists, and frequently tore pages from them), because I don't think I've ever had a book bound by someone else before. But don't worry. They're lovely, and I'm not afraid to write in them.
As I was about to get on a plane and my near-finished sweater was too cumbersome to knit on the go, I immediately cast on for a top-down raglan using one of Stacie's yarns for a contrastey yoke against a dark gray alpaca/wool/acrylic blend (how well do you guys know me by now? of course it's recycled). I cast on too many stitches for the neck ribbing and will have to remove and reknit that later, but here's how much I managed to finish during travel time over the weekend (in between bouts of filming and rehearsing at Jacey's I worked on Miss Henry instead, because monogamy is for boring people).
Since returning home I've put this aside on waste yarn in order to pick up Straight Outta Brompton again (as they're forced to share a circular needle); this sweater's going to be lovely but two gray projects on the go is a bit of a downer, and SOB's Georgia-dirt-red is much more appropriate for the current Project Spectrum fire theme (at least, I hope it's still fire theme; I had a dream that Lolly blogged how excited she was that the theme was about to change from "fire" to "pink", and I freaked out that I wasn't ready for pink) (and then when I went looking for links I saw that pink is included as a fire colour anyway). (Yes, I'm a big enough stressball that I dream about stuff like that, but isn't that better than lying awake at 4:00 a.m., heart racing, worrying about my thesis? Yeah, I thought so).