Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh Marimekko

I love Marimekko. I love that they have books and videos with DIY projects..I love this song. 

I love the large and bold, but simple prints, so different from any other printed fabrics. I love that this is why my Great Grandma Nanna also loved them. I love that the company is not limited to printed fabrics or designed garments, but timelessness.

I love that the new book is titled Surrur and that '"Surrur" is meant to evoke the sound of a sewing machine.' -- Lisa Boone, LA Times.


I love this mantra on their website: "Contradiction creates. Marimekko travels the road less taken between urban and nature, tradition and modernity, mass production and unique art..." 

my first Marimekko inspired object...I know there will be more soon!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Old belt, new dog collar

 Just posted a how-to project on Readymade...everyone who has one of my vintage belt dog collars has loved them, and it is no secret how to make them. Especially not anymore!


Desert dog loves being my model. He is the best at modeling when he stays asleep the whole time. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reupholstering theater seats complete!

The arms got a little faded sitting outside for the month-long "natural" deep cleaning (i.e. getting rained on and exposed to bacteria-killing UV light!), but refinishing them will be no problem. We also need to get a board to bolt the seats down to...they are a little wobbly, but the springs in the seat make them surprisingly cozy. Hopefully the new upholstery will relax a little with time because I think I pulled the fabric too tight on the backs. It was a learning process, so I wasn't too picky.

I liked the original red, but with our transitory lifestyle, it is difficult to know what color scheme we are going to have to work with at our next residence (fingers crossed for sooner rather than later, and permanent rather then temporary).

Below are some oh-so satisfying before shots.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A purse, for me

Materials: I try to stay away from exotics, but this ostrich hide was given to me, and I never turn down free leather! In spite of the guilt factor, it was really nice to work with. I lined the bag with canvas, and coated the inside of the leather with wax prior to inserting the lining because I have a horrible habit of dumping water into my bags.

Design: When it comes to constructing bags, I have been a one horse show. I use the pattern that you will see any cheap tote bag made from, constructed with minimal stitching and patterning. I like to make the leather do all the work! 

The front pocket and tabs are all vegetable tanned leather, carved with patterns I would describe as "cubo-futurist meets minimal." Like something you would see in the early days of abstraction, possibly described as but without the color.

Painting by Alexander Rodchenko

Thursday, May 19, 2011

tooling clutch and apotropaic magic

I just finished this beautiful leather clutch! The top two photos are in-process and the bottom two are the finished product. 

I was inspired by European folk art and the ojo de dios we used to make as kids by winding yarns around a cross. A lozenge surrounded by hooks is common embroidery motif in folk costume, and can be traced back to Neolithic times (Anawalt 2007:113). While the European design is thought to be fertility related, the ojo de dios represents a literal translation of the Spanish phrase and is generally associated with the Huichol people. 

The phenomenon of thread crosses is my no means exclusively Mesoamerican, and has been documented archaeologically and ethnographically all over the world (the Germanic name is Fadenfreuz), usually in reference to the eye (Potts 1982). 

Whether used to avert an avert the evil eye or act as a protective watchful eye, the concept of the woven lozenge is is universally alluring.

Interesting, but dated, further reading on the subject:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

oohh, house, yea, you look good.

 The Great Homes and Destinations section of the NY Times is like dirty magazines to me. I become a voyeur looking at all different architecture styles and endless designing options, so that I can imagine what my future house will look like. This house featured is connected to Scottish ruins, and reminded me of the ruins we got married in, a roofless building in Bandera, Texas.


This photo from our wedding was taken by Larry Horn.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

May Day Treasury


 I am celebrating for the whole month...love this pin from a4sa on etsy

Music time

What is going on in music right now is boring to me. Maybe it is just that I am so far removed from anything related to the energy of the punk rock counter culture I grew up with here in hippie land, maybe it is the internet (easy to blame when I used to have to order mix tape samplers from little distros and meet people in alleys to buy records...OK, I only did that once...), or maybe I am boring and lazy for not seeking out the answer to my auditory desires. 

My husband sent me this X record, which actually took me three days to put on because, in my mind, I had heard everything by X because someone made me a 90 min mix tape in high school. Then I bought a random record at a flea market and it failed to impress me. But this is a great record, except for True Love PT. #2, which sounds like a blatant attempt to keep up with Blondie. But I never liked the song Rapture and don't much care for X's version either.

I do remember from my mix tape Exene Cervenka talking some mad smack about Deborah Harry during a live recording. This commentary is probably 28 years too late, but nothing else was going on today!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Project Upholstery

The backs of the theater seats were tolerable, but the seat part...I guess it didn't help that I suspected a mouse had made a nest in one. The neat thing is seeing all the natural fiber padding! An indication that they are quite old...I should check what the fabric is made from. 

I wish I had a film strip of all the people who sat in these seats over the course of their life span at the Pershing Theater in El Paso, Texas. 

The images show removal of the old fabric from the seat, and the bottom image is of the backs finished. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

baby belt!

First custom baby belt came out perfect! Vegetable tanned leather is the most eco-friendly leather, and leather in general is a byproduct of the meat industry, except for exotics, which I do not use. The dyes are primarily from the Eco-Flo from Tandy Leathery.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

it is so green here...

grass grows on metal rooftops and living flora flourishes almost anywhere

where we live

i have never seen such a pink tree with such beautiful flowers. any ideas what it is?


carving the design, adding texture, then stained and assembled piece, front side shown below
"Keep nature natural...stop urban sprawl" inspired by my surroundings here in rural Orick, CA.

Leather is easy to clean, lasts a long time, and only gets better with age, unlike dirty cloth-based pouches.

Woody Allen makes me miss cities

Hannah and Her Sisters, saw it for the first time and loved it..