Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My art room is finally unpacked!

Sooo... you may have seen my Before pictures. If you didn't then this probably doesn't seem like a great accomplishment. It is not as nice as some beautiful craft rooms I have seen, but I really love it- and I am so grateful to have a whole room... especially since I kinda need it...

This is my dress form with a work in progress on it. I got the form at the last thursday market in portland and it didn't have a base so adam made this one for me. It is great but I really need to be able to turn it. I am trying to decide what to do to make the bottom cohesive. Behind it I have a metal shelving unit filled with supplies. I have block printing
supplies, lots of watercolor and acrylic painting stuff, jewelry findings, a whole tub of sweaters I have already felted but not decided what to do with yet, a tub of lace and sewing findings, a tub of needle felting supplies, and a tub of clothing that I plan to upcycle... someday.

Then I have my sewing/drawing table, file cabinet, and a little metal rack with the billions of prismacolor markers I got when I was at FIDM and the few that I acquired since (really HOW many shades of each color do you REALLY need when you have been taught to blend colors... I DO need some new blending markers though.) , a few reference books, and my FAVORITE several past issues of Vouge Collections. I have an easel in the other corner, but I am not ready to share that painting (sorry).

And then there are the closets... They look messy but I know what is going on. Adam, my dear husband made me the shelves for the fabric.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I am going to be making this dress! YAY

After a few convo's and a little tweaking I got the bid to do this wedding dress. I am spending over half of the price that I bid on supplies and am going to get paid much less than minimum wage for my time- but I am madly in love with this dress and am SO excited to get to make it. I guess that is how I know I am a designer. I do it because I love it, and it is more important for me to have the opportunity to make something breathtaking than it is for me to make money off of it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Finally Forging!

Happy fall!

I don’t write too many of these blogs between work and commuting and trying to spend time with the family, but today is a red-letter day….the new forge is functioning and functional! It’s a new version of the old one a made in ABQ, firebricks, and black iron pipe mostly, this time with the addition of ceramic insulation, and a second tulare line for more even air distribution. I use hardwood charcoal as fuel, and it seems to work pretty well so far. Too bad I don’t have an anvil stand yet. I guess the crouching and standing should be good for my knees.

I now have three anvils also. Two pieces of railroad track, which I haven’t shaped quite to my liking, and my old steel block. I’m planning on making the little railroad piece into a fairly convex shape, to help in drawing out steel. I’ll eventually cut a chunk off my big steel block too, for similar reasons, and a different arc.

So, you’d think that I would start small after a couple of years off. Not me. The first two projects to go into the new fire are a nice long Santuko style kitchen knife (maybe 10-12”) from a heavy duty dodge leaf spring and (ok this one is pretty small) a paring knife from some O1 round stock. After they cool off, maybe I will take some pictures and you can watch them progress….very….very slowly. Obviously there is a little way to go on both of these.

Anyway, I’m pretty excited that the new forge is running, so I thought I would share.



Share the Road

Biking to work has harbored many peeves, and I wish drivers had to be more aware of not only bicycle law but also courtesies. I agree that bikers do some annoying things too, like not obeying traffic signals, especially stop signs.

These are the top five most obnoxious things that drivers do to bicyclists. Also keep in mind that I tow a baby behind me when I ride, making some of these offenses just appalling.

5) When drivers do the right thing, follow the law, be courteous, whatever, but then act like it was a huge burden and they are doing you a huge favor. For example, a driver pulls out in to the street too far from a parking lot so they reverse. I smile and wave and then they sigh and roll their eyes.

4)When drivers do not know that bicycles have to follow the same laws that they do and expect the cyclist to yield to them just because they are in a car. It is amazing how frequently I have to yield to turning cars to avoid getting hit by them, and how often cars at lights try to turn right before I can go straight! Motorists wouldn't do that with pedestrians, so why do they do it with cyclists?

3) When drivers do not see me because they are doing something else. They are usually talking on the phone, which is illegal here, but I have seen people do all kinds of things from eating to doing make-up that I have to watch for when I am biking.

2)When drivers use the bike lane to park in or pass turning cars in. Most of my ride has a parking lane AND a bike lane, but for some reason lots of cars cant fit their car into the parking lane and have to take up the bike lane too. I am also amazed by how many times I see cars sneak around leftboud vehicles by driving in the bike lane.

1)Dangerously reckless or aloof behavior. This has actually happened, while towing Autumn... I really hate it when cars drive in to the bike lane right next to me giving me about a foot of clearance and honk and yell trying to scare me because they think it is funny. Seriously? I know I look like a nerd with my orange safety vest, but get a life. That is dangerous. I also had a parked car open their door into us as we rode past. Needless to say Autumn learned some new words that day.

Thats all.

Friday, September 18, 2009

This week has been eventful.

Last Friday we had a roller derby game in Kansas City and my husband, baby, a team mate and I were planing on driving, and ultimately DID drive. That was a terrible idea. Next time I need to go to Kansas I am getting a hot air balloon a la Wizard of Oz or i am flying in an airplane. I left work at five and at about five thirty, right around when I ride my bike and baby trailer up the driveway I got a call from Adam to notify me that his car- an old Subaru- was not running...probably because it ran out of oil...

Fortunately he made it to his exit and then back up to my dads shop, where I met him after getting the go-ahead to borrow one of my dads business trucks for the trip. We drove through the night, and I only got about 3 hours of sleep. My team lost the game, but my postpartum performance is not what it used to be and I don't get played enough to have a huge impact on the score

My baby also learned to crawl out of her walker. Fortunately she knows how to do it without hurting herself. She also can move the barricades I put up to keep her in the room I am working in, and likes to climb UP anything the can hold on to. Also, according to my dad: She *may* have taken steps. WE will REALLY have to watch her now.

I also got responses from two bids I placed for wedding dresses. Here are two of the sketches I did not put up in the last post.

This one is for the woman who wanted the petal hem. She wanted it to be less intricate, which will be less fun for me, but it also means I will get closer to actually paying myself for my time.

This one is for the other woman. I really love it but it will take a lot of time. I will be able to cover cost of materials but not pay myself for my time, which is fine right now since I am trying to build my portfolio.

I hope I get one of these bids.

In other news it has been raining here... A LOT, which is nice, but very strange for Albuquerque. We also went to the state fair today, which was fun. As I looked at the art in the fine art building I thought I should have entered some pieces- as I usually do around this time. Too Bad I don't ever think about it in time to actually enter anything.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Initial sketches

I am hoping to get to make another wedding dress!
These are the initial sketches for the bid. The client wants a petal hem and a scoop neack or sweetheart neckline, but I am not a fan of sweetheart necklines, so I could not bring myself to do one, scoop neck it is!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Monday RANT: Couture? Oui or Non...

SO, I have always been amazed by what is called couture. I decided to punish myself one day and look up what people tagged as couture. As expected I was annoyed, surprised and amazed by what was tagged as couture.

When I was in school I was taught that only if you are an approved couturier are your dresses couture, and anything that was not approved by the french government but applied couture techniques should be refereed to as "couture style" or something that made it clear that you are not an approved couturier. No wonder I am so annoyed when people throw it around.

I just looked up the definition of couture and I actually am more understanding of how it could be misused. The web definitions are very vague, running the gammot from simply "High fashion" to "all fashionable dresses" (WHAT?!? that is just inaccurate) To the definition that I was taught which is available on wikipedia .

(Couture Christian Dior Spring '07...which I believe was still John Galliano)

There are many lovely items on etsy that I totally take no offense to being tagged as couture, but I expect a few things of the items tagged as such.

1-I am very disappointed when something tagged as "couture" is not made out of very fine materials (you know, it shouldn't be made out of $1 a yard poly)

2-If something is a mass produced item with embellishments i do not think it should be tagged couture, especially if those embellishments are made with a bead dazzler or an embroidery machine.

3-I expect to see hand sewn details...beading, draping, pleating...something

These are Totally Acceptably Tagged as couture, and are really stunning pieces!

This is from Toolgrrl

Those are gloves. amazing!

This is from atilladesign

The had detail at the hem is lovely!

So I guess here are a few hints, if it can be easily mass produced, you can charge less than $200 for it(and pay yourself for your time- once I made a dress that would have cost about $2000 if I were paying myself for my time but I only charged $200 for the dress) , or it is made with cheap materials... it is NOT couture.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How Hot is Donna Passarelli's art????

Donna Passarelli is an etsy artist in the New Jersy area. I read her work as a little pop art, and a little punk rock, and I really LOVE it! Here are a few of my favorite pieces that are available NOW... But check out her sold items, Donna has some serious talent that, and I enjoyed checking out her sold items almost as much as I enjoyed her colorful, lively shop.

"Pink Army Men" by Donna Passarelli

"Page no. 1" ACEO print by Donna Passarelli

"Smiling Boy" by Donna Passarelli

Check out Donna's Etsy store at :
Check out her vintage store at:

and you can even get a cross stitch pattern based off of her paintings. I didn't have any luck with the link, so contact her if you are interested!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Aqua Java

One of my prints was featured in a treasury! YAY.
Thank You for featuring me in your treasury. Take a look while it lasts aquaandjava

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I loves me some tacos! I loves them good.

I am not sure why I call these tacos... they really resemble burritos. It may just be because I have never liked "burritos" so I can like them more if I call them tacos.

It is a soft tortilla with spanish rice, corn, black beans, lean carne asada, avocado, cheese, lettuce and tomato. YUMMY.

Weather you call it a burrito or a taco it is fast, healthy, and filling fare, and it is easy for familys with picky eaters because everyone builds their own.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Some Local Artist Love

SO, I didn't notice right away that Eduardo Cervantes was in New Mexico, but I probably should have because there were several photographs-even the ones taken outside of New Mexico- that made me feel like home.

"El Musico" by Eduardo Cervantes

This artist has a way with catching decay and nostalgia-both things that I happen to LOVE- that makes my gut turn with curiosity and anticipation. I love Eddyizm's use of high contrast colors that pop off the page.

"Dumbo" (by Eduardo Cervantes)

"The Sandstone Bluffs"(by Eduardo Cervantes)

These are just a few of Eddyizm's beautiful and fun photographs. Please check out his stores, they are linked to below.