Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We were on the train, Amtrak to be exact, to West Virginia. It was 6 am, and the sun was up, and I had been awake since 2. I was tired, grumpy, and only wanted to sleep. Unfortunately, the light was making it tough. Luckily, I had my size 9 needles and a skein of black Riverstone wool worsted in my knitting bag. I quickly whipped up a pattern in my head: cast on 18 stitches, knit 3 rows, purl 1, (to make a lifted rib to keep it from being heavy on my eyes) for 20 rows, then decrease at the bottom edge for 4 rows, then increase at the bottom edge for 4 rows, then repeat the purl 1 row, knit 3 rows back for 20 rows. Bind off. I wove in the ties (using the remnant of the long tail cast on for one tie).
The increasing and decreasing made the notch for my nose. It really worked suprizingly well, and by 7:30 or so, I had a functioning sleep mask.
The other passengers must have been SOOOOOO jealous.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I shamefully COVET that felted cat skull. Morbid? Yes. Fantastic? Abso-freakin-lutely!
Just call me Garth...
I'm not worthy....I'm not worthy....I'm not worthy
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Then I had to pin in the lining, and start binding the thing at the top and bottom edges. I had originally planned to use leather for the binding, but couldn't get the needle to get through, so I fell back on cotton.
It took me four days of hand sewing and pinning to get the bindings all done. I thought that it would never be finished. But it is, and I tried it on for the first time tonight, without lacing in too tightly for fear that a bone might snap. But I was lucky, and they all seemed to hold. I laced in over my chemise, and I was pleased that the look was very authentic. It was stiffer than any other corset I had worn, and I could definitely feel the "cone" shape that it was wanting to push my body into. It also seemed to push my shoulders and upper back forwards, which was something that I was not expecting.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I have however been growing stuff (which I will share some images of).
Just recently I have gotten a fire in my belly again for the making, and thus I am back with posting to the blog. My latest project is a pair of 18th century stays using the JP Ryan strapless stays pattern.
I decided that it was time to have something to wear in my historical reenactment events that was a bit nicer than my leather jumps, and so wanted a pair of custom made stays, (corset) but was unwilling to pay the $300 and up to have them done. So as a challenge, I am making them myself.
I started on Saturday, October 11, and here is what I got done:
1. -Cut, sewed and fit the fitting muslin (out of muslin of course) which will then be used as the lining
5. -Sewed in the channels for the boning (yeah, machine stitched again, don't kill me, I only have a week to get this done) in a pale gold thread so it will be ever so slightly noticeable.
6. -Then I individual fit the bones into the channels. The channels were sewn to be 1/4 inch plus 1/16 ease to fit a 1/4 inch bone. I sewed all the channels freehand without marks, using only the presser foot as a guide, so it was a gamble if the bones would fit. I wanted to use half round basket reeding as my boning material, as this is fairly period correct. I cut each piece, shaped and sanded the ends, and in some cases, shaped the sides to fit the slightly more narrow edge channels. I ended up fitting in 88 bones to make a fully boned corset. I still have two bones to fit on the very ends outside the lacing eyelets....
The detritus of boning....
7. -I used a hammer and round punch to cut in the eyelets on one side (however after testing by sewing the eyelet, it may be too small and I may have to re-cut with a larger punch). I also turned the back edges over and hand basted the edge prior to punching the eyelets.
-WHEW~! All that in one day! What remains to be done is all the handwork...finishing punching eyelet holes, finishing them, sewing in the lining and binding all the edges...as well as checking for final fit and poky bones. I was going to bind in cotton, but I remembered some cream colored lightweight leather that I had laying around, and after consulting "What Clothes Reveal" I saw this was a very common binding material for corsets, and I think it will result in a sturdy finish.
Wish me luck!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I'm looking for some inspiration....
I have been busy cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. You know how when you think you are going to make something, and then you start to "tidy" the studio or office, and then it becomes a massive cleaning extravaganza, and then you never end up making what you went in there to make in the first place? Well, that is the state I am in right now.
I have to get inspired enough to overcome the urge to clean and triumph with the urge to make.
I took a bunch of photos when I was walking in town, this being one of them...thinking I could use them for felting inspiration. It is worth a try at least, isn't it?
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I created a wordle from the tags on my flikr images. I took a few out, that were a little personal or incongruous, fiddled with the colors and fonts a bit, and this is what I got.
I like it. I feel like it sums up what my art would be if it were manifest in word soup inside my brain. If you could open my cranium, it is what you would see on a hot June night.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
So Craftmag saw my little snake scarf and decided to give it some love today in their blog. Yippee!
If you were on Long Island, then you could see the real thing, as it in on display at my Library Exhibit.
I kind of love my little Rumpole the Reductive Rattler. He is wet felted, hand beaded and about 5 feet long. He works well as both a scarf and a belt. Totally fun.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Even now, as I write this, I am being the consummate felting multi-tasker. I am listening to an audio book on my computer that is engaging of plot and amusing in the reading. I am fulling a new batch of felt (my third today) under my feet by rolling my bubble wrapped bundle of felt on a towel under the table while my husband looks on in horror. And finally, I am writing this missive to you. Not bad on a lazy lovely Sunday. I am busily making flat felt to turn into flowers for a little exhibition at the local library....hopefully I will have enough to fill the case and make it interesting.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Enjoy! (Comments are always appreciated)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
It is Earth Day...which is sweet and all...but I find the whole "one day a year" of it mildly insulting.
I was reading my newspaper this weekend (Yes, I still get a newspaper. And yes, I either compost or recycle it) and there were tons of ads for "Green" products and businesses.
Come on people. Get real. What percentage of the public actually falls for this wholesale greenwashing that is being trotted out more and more and passed off to general consumers like it is environmentalism. Piss off.
If you care about the environment, you care all year....that is 365 days in my book (366 this year...you get an extra day of care-y goodness) not one day where you proclaim all your evils to be for naught.
I'm sick of it and I'm not going to take it anymore. If you pretend to be "green" then I am not going to be spending my dollars with you. Hey big company, know how we can tell you are an impostor? You use the word "GREEN" on your products of advertising and have done so either:
a: just around earth day
b: within the last year but are not a new company
c: and you are a petroleum company. There are no green petroleum companies...so that horse has flown the barn so to speak.
Also....don't insult me by coloring all your advertising green. It doesn't mean the stuff you make or sell is. You really should be ashamed of yourself. You know who you are.
If you are going to talk the talk, big businesses, walk the f-ing walk.
I'm done ranting for now. I think that I will go make some stuff that I don't have to label "green"...because handmade is just that by it's nature.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
My newest creation over at etsy. This felted necklace has been treated so that all those hard edges will remain nice and sharp. The glass beads that I used as spacers are absolutely delicious, and I have to admit that I was tempted to keep them for myself. I also used some cute cute cute green polka dot glass beads around the back of the necklace, so that it would feel nice and smooth against your neck.
There you go. It is for sale in my etsy shop. Go get it.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Now hear this: I am branching out into earrings.
I had all these end bits from the felt ropes that I make to create the hard beads for the "Bullseye Bones" necklaces. I finally figured that they would make great earrings.
So here they are...and they are for sale in my Etsy Shop.
They kind of look like tiny hams, don't they?
Monday, March 24, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
I used the video's that I have posted here on the blog, but now they have some written instructions and some additional edifying images.
Yeah, I know that this isn't a fiber...but I love how this picture came out, so I am posting it anyway. This is kind of the most extreme Macro you can get. What you are looking at here are the fruiting bodies of a common bread mold, stained for visibility and viewed through a microscope at 100x.
I took the photo by fitting the microscope with my digital eyepiece that I bought surplus from Russia. (My school couldn't afford one at the time and I REALLY wanted one) I think that it looks like modern art, and it kind of reminds me of my encaustic flower paintings that I do when I am not wrapped up in wool roving.
Maybe I should blow this up and sell the prints on Etsy...it really is kind of oddly lovely, isn't it?
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
When art and science meet.....it can be a beautiful thing. In Forensic Science class last week, I was teaching my students how to recognize different fibers microscopically. While they were looking at fiber samples through the microscopes, I took some photos of thier best samples. I thought that I would share some of the better ones with you.
I took this with my camera, a steady hand, my students and a microscope. Yes, it is green dyed. If you look at the image in the largest format, you can see the cuticle scales on each fiber.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Can you spot all the hand made items on this page?
If it is an Etsy item, can you find the shop it came from?
If you click on the photo, it will take you to the original flickr file, where you can add your comments and notes.
I think that I shall make it a contest. Every one who leaves a comment on the Flikr photo, trying to ID an item is eligible.
The prize will be a set of hand felted hairpins, just like the one's I sell in my Etsy shop, ...as well as some possible goody destash items waiting to go in my other shop, toomuchmary.etsy.com
The EYE SPY contest will run until March 8th, 2008.
I will choose the winner totally at random.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
I have a confession to make.
My husband hates nutmeg. Or at least he thinks that he hates nutmeg. Every time that I make a quiche or an egg dish he complains that I put nutmeg in it. Now I know that I do NOT over season my food, be it with nutmeg, or salt, or anything else. I also know that if you DO NOT put nutmeg in a baked egg dish the flavour falls flat.
So I have started putting nutmeg in everything I cook.
It is only a little bit. But it is going everywhere....all the time.
He has been complimenting me on my cooking more than ever.
What does this say about his sense of taste? What does this say about our relationship? What does this say about his fear of nutmeg?
More importantly, I wonder if he actually reads my blog?
What do you have to confess? Feel free to do it here. I am pretty confident that YOUR significant other doesn't read this blog.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Part 3 covers how to shape the Curly-que, after it has been formed and wet felted. You can find Parts 1 and 2 posted yesterday and the day before!
I would also like to give a big shout out to Linda over at The Craftgossip Blog Network, who picked up Parts one and two of my tutorial on the felting section of her blog today. You ROCK!!!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
This portion of the tutorial covers the actual process of wet felting around the wire form. Part 1 covered how to wind the felt around the wire form and prepare it for wet felting. (If you haven't seen Part 1, it is in yesterday's post!)
Link to part 1 of the tutorial here: Take me to it!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
So here is the first in that series: How to wet felt a curly-que, just like the one you see here!
These little curls are really useful as embellishments or as fun elements in larger pieces, I use them all the time. Besides, they are a great place to start because they work up quick, don't take much roving, and they are just as whimsical as all get out. They can take something that is kind of ho-hum and elevate it. They can also be just the thing to add a touch of the organic to a piece that is feeling a little staid or static.
I hope you enjoy part 1 of this tutorial, parts two and three will follow shortly!
Part 1: Taming the wool (The wind up)
Part 2: Prepare to get wet (Felting it up)
Part 3: Taking shape (Forming the curl)
Friday, February 22, 2008
If I am doing things like this to my perfectly good photographs. Actually, I recently discovered fd's flickr toys and have become addicted to them. I kind of hate lolcats, but here I am making one out of this picture of my dear Herbert, never-the-less.
I have also created a bevy of psuedo inspirational posters that I am VERY tempted to share with the viewing public at large. They are misanthropic and somewhat offensive. I kind of love them.
My husband wants them for his office, so his college students will really grasp where they stand with him. If you want to see them, click on my flickr stream there on the left sidebar.....go ahead. I double dog dare you.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I had these left over felt beads that had already been hardened with the acrylic so I had to figure out what to do with them. I am kind of over seeing buttons stuck on the end of bobbie pins...but I thought that my felt disks were quite different!
Monday, February 18, 2008
So...while I did not get much made, I have gotten some organizing done. In the course of going through my studio I decided that I have too much stuff. Plain and simple: there is Too Much Mary.
I have too much of Mary Jane in me. She was my grandmother who ran an antique shop called "The Elephant's Foot" and never threw anything away. It is a dangerous and delicate rope to walk, and I acknowledge that.
Hence, me opening up a second shop purely for destash. And when I say destash, I mean it. I am getting rid of the dusty, the old, and that which I must finally admit to myself that I shall never use. Maybe these things will inspire someone else.
Come check it out, I will be listing things fairly constantly, until the point is reached where my studio space no longer tests the boundaries of physics.
So the new destash shop is: http://toomuchmary.etsy.com
I will ALWAYS be found making art at my regular address: http://marysusan.etsy.com
Still getting into a creative mood...and searching for inspiration on a cold, wet day.
1. Tree Peony, 2. Mietze and his true love 1, 3. Untitled, 4. feltygoodness, 5. Stack of pearls earrings, 6. Indie snow07, 7. PAISLEY PARK, 8. Felt Cherry Drop Scarf, 9. 1008, 10. Loop Di Loo - Sold, 11. Catch the Brass Ring, 12. wedding bouquet, 13. Liebe von Volkwagen #1, 14. dressed without a face, 15. Untitled, 16. winterdetail2
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Originally uploaded by Marysusan
I haven't managed to make anything yet today, but have cleaned in my pit of a studio and have taken a few nice photos in the fading February light...and that is something.
Add: I did in the end make something, now the light just needs to return so I can photograph it.
Originally uploaded by Marysusan
Where is my muse?
I am waiting for inspiration to strike. Now that the play is over and I can finally get into the studio and make some things for myself alone, I find that I am at an impase as to how to do so.
Perhaps I just need to get in there and make something, anything, to get the juices flowing. I know I NEED to do it....or else I will just stay in this grey limbo of doing nothing, which is a kind of artistic metastasis.
It has got to break.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
The dress has almost 20 yards of fabric in it...BTW.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
The core of the text makes the basic assumption that the murderer of Elizabeth Short, a.k.a. The Black Dahlia,was George Hodel. This information is relied upon as if it were fact in this book, which unfortunately, it is not. There is one major source that proposes Hodel is the Black Dahlia killer, and that is his own son, Steve Hodel. Exquisite Corpse fully hangs its hat on this idea of Hodel being the killer. If this were not the case, their hypothesis would crumble like the walls of Jericho. Once one buys the idea of Hodel as the killer (largely based on the presence of two pictures of a pretty, young unidentified woman in a Hodel family photo album, which Steve Hodel identifies as Elizabeth Short, frankly, I don't see the resemblance), then the connections to the surrealist movement can be made.....
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I have generated two alterego's for myself:
- Prepare lessons at lightning speeds
- Implant info in students' brains telepathically
- Blast the occasional jerk with a "Behaviour Modification Ray"
- Fold time for grading purposes
- Look fabulous Doing it
- Repel stains and evildoers with her Lab Coat of Majesty
- Whip onery felt into shape
- Get others to shop Handmade
- Blast the Big Box Stores (metaphorically speaking or course)
- See the good in everything
- Alter space and time to pack more matter than possible by mere physics into a small space
- Blow away creative blocks