Friday, June 27, 2008

Peonies, Pens & Pantone Colors

It's Peony season, and our yard is filled with them. With no planning on our part they seem to have staggered their growth habits to give us an exceptionally long flowering period. The tree peonies started blooming weeks ago with flowers the size of my head, and the regular ones with smaller but still sizable blooms are going strong now.
You've got to love a plant that demands so little fuss but gives so generously. My only complaint is the ants that invariably accompany them indoors, but it seems a small price to pay.

And the other joy in my life: my pens are here!
A few years ago I bought a bounty of inks (below). I didn't know what I was going to do with them, but they were on super sale and I couldn't resist. They dry too fast to be used by dipping a pen into the bottle, and not many pens these days allow you to fill them with your choice of ink. I thought a rapidograph might work, but didn't want to spend $25 for a pen if it didn't. Luckily it turned out that Davis had two as part of his dowry, so I was able to take one for a test drive. His collecting habits are so varied that it pays to ask him if he happens to have the most random things - the affirmative on the cheese press still cracks me up. Anyway, after discovering the joy of the rapidograph and seeing the great deals for new ones on eBay, I decided I neeeeeded to own several in various widths. I haven't had a chance to try them out, but I'm hoping to this weekend.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pendants Pending

I've been working on some pendants in my studio, having fun testing out materials, pens and designs.
Well, to be more accurate, it was intermittent fun and frustration because my drawing skills have gotten really rusty. I hate it when I have something in my head, and I realize that it's going to be a long learning process before I can bring it out of there.
My skinny pen died while working on that one of Mr. William Morris Minor, so production has pretty much stopped until my much anticipated Rapidographs arrive. I specifically mention these pens by name because the website says they're the sign of a serious artist, and I want you all to take me VERY seriously.

random aside: doesn't the one on the right look like it should say "Pow!!" or "Blammo!"?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Red Riding Hood Revealed

I've been puttering around my studio for the last several days working on a project that I hope to show you soon. In the meantime I wanted to give you a couple pictures from a vintage Little Red Riding Hood book that I purchased recently.

The blase expressions in this one crack me up:

I also love her bloomers and the shag-carpeted riverbank.

The second one is quite interesting. Does it look like Grandma is enjoying this a bit too much?

I like to think that the real story of Red Riding Hood might have been that Grandma was involved in a little role-playing game with a gentleman friend when Red walked in, leading to misunderstandings, mayhem and the birth of a masterpiece of children's literature.
What? It's certainly not any more perverse than what wikipedia gives as the original pre-Perrault version of the story. My version just features the amorous relationship between two consenting adults - no cannibalism or interspecies pedophilia here!
oh dear....I hate to see what the search engines will send my way now...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another Friday Favorite

My new favorite thing? Having my time sucked away as I gaze at Etsy's Time Machine 2.
Have you ever noticed that everything seems more appealing when it's in someone else's shopping basket? TM2's "just sold" section shows you the last 1000 things that were sold on Etsy. When I see something I really like, I go to the seller's store to see if they have more of whatever it was - or maybe something else I like even more. This way I can blow through money as well as time! It's great!
Here are some of my finds:

These soaps are from Haunt. Their descriptions sound even yummier than they look. I was on the verge of buying some when I realized the attraction might have been mainly because I was hungry. I put them in my favorites folder to consider at another time when I was better nourished.
I just ate dinner, and they still look good to it wrong that I want to eat soap?
This pendant is from Imogen. It's really cute and has a great price. Added bonus: I'm not even remotely tempted to eat it.

I'm quite amazed by Curster's minions. Their faces are adorable, and their construction looks so complicated it makes my head hurt. She sells some cool looking prints too.
I've long thought I could use a minion of my own. I'm not sure this one would do my bidding, but it seems worth a try.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Tea Party

Davis recently brought home a very cute set of tiny cups and saucers. They're about the right size for espresso, but I'm off the sauce right now due to a recent coffee binge that nearly made my head explode.
I was worried the cups would remain tragically neglected until I was reminded that rabbits are known to enjoy a good tea party every now and then. I decided to hold a tea party picnic for them in my dressing room (my rabbits don't hold with going out of doors for fear of gangs of woodland ruffians).

It started off in a quite dignified manner.

Midge poured her tea into the saucer to cool, and she delicately sipped it.
Morris became intrigued.
He wasn't sure if he liked tea, so he took a taste of Midge's.
Morris liked it so much that he decided to have a cup of his own.
He enjoyed it with great relish.
Possibly too much relish.

The afternoon went on, and it seemed as if their manners declined as their caffeine levels rose.
The rabbits were not happy when I announced they had been cut off.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday's Favorite is Filled with Hi-Fructose

A little over a year ago I posted about my infatuation with Hi-Fructose, a magazine I had just discovered. After devouring the first two issues that I bought online, I got a subscription and have loved every page of it. It's the one magazine that I literally read cover to cover (well, technically it's more like cover to middle to somewhere in the back then over to the contents, etc... but it all gets covered). Even the ads are eye-candy.

The magazine only comes out quarterly, so that used to leave me with three and a half months of pining for the next issue. Luckily, they now have a blog that helps fill my pop-surrealism needs in the interim.

The image on the left is from their entry about Liz McGrath's latest show.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I have long loved the dirndl, but in the past year or so it has become an actual obsession.
I've rewatched The Sound of Music and Heidi for dirndl sightings. I've quested in vintage clothing stores and combed eBay for one (or several) of my very own.
My pursuit has been thwarted by several problems:
1) Dirndls are not the traditional folk-garb of New England (unlike cat sweatshirts)
2) Dirndls are generally not designed to fit bust-free waistless gals
3) Dirndls can be really expensive

Imagine my joy at finding this kitschy catch of dirndly goodness last week at a relatively local antiques mall - and it was on sale! Hooray!!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Awards, Aviaries, Automata and the Arts

The wonderful Mary Jane has awarded me the Blogging With a Purpose award - yay!!!
Instead of choosing five bloggers to give my own award to (how could I choose just five?), I've decided to start up a Favorites Friday theme where I'll mention a blog I'm currently loving. Why Fridays? Because I just happened to do it last Friday and it seems as good a day as any.

And because I hate to do a post without pictures, I'll give you some photos from our recent trip:

This is a freakishly fabulous roseate spoonbill from the rain forest section of the Cleveland Zoo. The outdoor part of the zoo was the usual depressing fare, but the rain forest was absolutely amazing.
Another highlight of our trip was Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum. It's a sort of arcade that's filled to the brim with vintage games and automata that all work. Put a quarter or two in, and this guy comes to life, complete with terrible jokes and power surges.

The Detroit Institute of Arts was a wonderful surprise. They had a really impressive collection of art, and it was displayed beautifully. On the left is a portrait of a Colonial crossdresser (it didn't say that on the tag, but I have a degree in art history and I know these things), and below is a detail from Bruegel the Elder's The Wedding Dance. And to think some people think art museums are boring!

swing by the archives to see more petulishness
(the link is in the sidebar on the right)