Sunday, 23 March 2008

Birth and death

Front of Nanoknitting

I've been wanting to get an iPod for some time, particularly with the long cross-country journey ahead of me. (Need. Tunes. On. Airplane. And. Long. Bus. Ride.)

So imagine my surprise when I found this one on sale when we were out for a walk on Friday and found ourselves at the nearest Staples? Everyone's told me that I have to have some sort of protective sleeve on it, and given the plethora of fibres and papers I've been working with lately with the same colour scheme, it didn't take long for me to fish out my remnant balls and mess around.

Within two hours yesterday morning, nanoknitting was born: here's a view of the back of it as well....

Back of Nanoknitting

Working with fibre has always been an emotional escape for me. One of the reasons I threw myself into doing this so quickly after purchase has, I'm sure, got to do with my visceral reaction to death.

Glen Schey, a friend from my university radio days in the early 1970s, died Thursday afternoon: he had been ill for some time, and had been given two months to live last fall.

He had made his peace with his ex and his son before he died, and while I hadn't seen him for some time, he did keep in touch with a couple of others from what is now CJSW.


Sunday, 16 March 2008

A migraine you could photograph


is what I've been down with most of the last two weeks. I hate 'em.

Never had them before I moved to New York City in 1982, and they've been fewer and further between in the last six or so years -- having a happy home life helps, a lot.

But the weather here has alternated between great warmth and the revenge of winter here lately, and wild swings in weather are a known trigger of migraines, particularly sinus ones.

It was so bad last Wednesday that I thought a DIY lobotomy with a chain saw would be less painful, and that doesn't leave much cognitive space for "creativity."

Luckily, my entry for CREATURE, a project of Elephant Artist Relief that I was working on (a knitted "canvas" to be used as the background for a three-dimensional sculpture) was pretty mindless, and I've now got that done.

The rest of the piece is a little more mindful on the knitting front, but I've also now got the canvas stretchers I will use to mount it -- they need to be constructed and stained -- and it's progressing well.

Deadline for it is two days before I leave for the eastern U.S., which is perfect timing.

Speaking of which, my passport showed up on Thursday, which is less than two weeks from the time I took the picture-from-hell (less than subtly tweaked above), my application form, and the money, into the office here. I'm truly impressed with how quickly it was done.

And I've finished booking everything I can do in advance (hotels, rental car, etc.), and have an itinerary that's now sitting at two pages. Still need to add the driving instructions for the rental car, which will be another couple of sheets, but other than that, it's coming together.

The funny thing is, I really only have to schedule (and rather tightly, at that) the first and last weekends -- the rest of the time, I'll be in class, with my nose to the bonefolder, and developing a fine case of ink-stained hands.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Happy Belated Birthday


My blog is one year old, as of yesterday, and I received the perfect present by email: notice that How to Make a Peacock Fly, shown above, was not only accepted into the upcoming Arts on Atlantic book arts show entitled flight, but also awarded (well, tied for) "best original design."

More pictures are available in a dedicated Flickr set.

There's a little something for the fibre folks, the book arts group, and typographers: here are the technical details.

10 x 10 x 10 cm closed


Box: Two-ply box board, various purchased papers, needle-felted Corriedale wool liner.

Fishing fly: 5/0 Mustad steel hook, barb pinched; green thread; peacock herl (tail and lower body); hand-dyed mohair (fluffy and bouclé, upper body); dun feather (palmered) and Brasilia yarn hackle.

Ox-plow book: Strathmore Aquarius II and artist-created paste papers, card stock, handspun linen thread. Custom typefaces created by Vince Connare (MagpieLinda, text) and James Arboghast (Pyke’s Peak, display).

(And despite working yesterday's provincial election here in Alberta that featured a record-low turnout, I'm not going to engage in a rant about how useless and apathetic 60% of my fellow citizens are. No, I won't waste my time doing that at all.

Even though I'm quite disgusted by the whole process....)

Books for Sale

The shop is currently empty.