09 December 2012

a short one ...

I seem to have gotten orders for various batches of holiday cookies coming to about 12 dozen.

... woot ... !

03 December 2012

ASUNM Sale Post-Mortem

In three days, I sold three paintings, about 30 snowflakes, and maybe 25 packets of 3 cookies (8 dozenish). I also gave away about that many cookies (as samples, freebies with other purchases, and as advertising, and as little thank-you gestures.) In the final accounting I came out ahead financially, although for the time spent, it is really of dubious value. (not even minimum wage) I certainly didn't make a substantial chunk of a year's art budget at this show, as some people clearly do.

I did get some good stuff, though.

a new experience!
rid of some of my made-things!
time to pick Jamie's brain!
two new cookie recipes!
a few new money-making ideas to chase down!
some new contacts in my field*!
three nifty reproduction prints to hang up in my naked-walled house!
some great compliments, including a marriage proposal!

* My field being People Who Make Stuff And Then Have To Figure Out How to Afford To Make More Stuff.

If you want to have any of the stuff I was selling for yourself, email me. I am working on getting stuff listed on Etsy, but it takes time, and sometimes is hard to find there. The fastest thing, and the thing I prefer, is that you just tell me what you want, we settle on a price and means of payment, and I send it to you. Because not only is that faster, but also it saves me the trouble of putting the listings together. (Administrivia is not my favorite thing...)

And, yes, I will make and ship cookies to you.

Now, here are some pictures from the three day sale, for your amusetertainment.

Five batches of cookies cooling on the counter. Left to right, PB + Mini PB Cups,  Choc Chunk + Boston Baked Beans, Tropical Mix, Bridge Mix, PB + Honey Roasted Peanuts

The final layout of our booth -- lots of stuff hung up on the backdrop, and the side fence and table moved to the back for maximum visibility from both sides. (we were in the back corner of the show)

First day arrangement - a little crowded! Impossible to tell what was going on from anywhere but straight on.

Jamie just finishing setting up on Day 1.
The long view of the hall from our booth - we were furthest from the windows, furthest from the entry doors...

Very nearly made it through the whole show without dumping all my stuff on the ground. ... but, didn't. Because my rolling cart was just not cart enough to withstand the world's most evil rumble strips.

The world's most evil rumble strips ... three rows of scattered rocks about the size of a gumball.

Anyhow, that's the round up. Out of my many, many ideas, I think the most pressingly interesting is the t-shirt printed with the Tight White Warrior Robot. Yes, there will be pictures.

27 November 2012

The Home Stretch (for the ASUNM art & craft sale)

Tomorrow, I will be taking stuff over to the student union building on the university campus, along with Warning Label Creations with whom I share a space, and probably all the other vendors, and we will be setting up our booth. We'll have a table, a spinner rack, a free standing display rack, a couple of chairs, a little holiday tree, some lights, and a lot of stuff to sell. We are hoping to trade most of the stuff for money over the course of the three day show, and also garner the admiration and respect of our fellow makers. Or at least not get involved in any brouhaha.  ;-)

There will be pictures of the set up, and probably some during the fair, although I am hoping to be pretty busy. We are taking some knitting, just in case, though. Because, why wouldn't we?  (Neither of us is selling knitted items.)

So... I guess ... watch this space?

For more information visit unm.edu/~thinkart

21 November 2012

Care and Feeding of Your Handmade Snowflake

You have purchased a one of a kind handmade snowflake, and with a little love, it will last for many, many years. In fact, barring some kind of destructive incident, this is the kind of stuff that paleontologists dig out of the remains of collapsed civilizations centuries on. Obviously, Step 1 is, don't let civilization collapse!

As long as that is in order, snowflake husbandry is pretty clear:

Keep it dry, keep it flat. Keep it in the sleeve it came in whenever it is not hung up on display.

Failing those, things go pear-shaped fast. Moisture is the #1 enemy of this thing, so you'll want to keep it indoors, and not hang it in the shower. It is possible with larger snowflakes that just gravity and time will pull the arms down out of place, this is perfectly normal.

There are all kinds of ways to get a snowflake back into shape, such as gently ironing it, pressing it in the pages of a book (preferably between sheets of wax paper, or in an envelope), or going all out and blocking it over again.

Blocking is the thing I did to change it from a curled-up ball of knotted string into the snowflake you now have, and requires water, some kind of stiffener (such as glue, and I added superfine glitter to most of my batches), and a lot of pins. The simplest snowflake generally requires at least a dozen pins, and the complicated ones can get up toward 4 dozen!

The basic idea is, carefully wash the snowflake and get most of the water out of the thread, and then put the stiffener on it, so that it gets into the fibers. Finally, you pin it out in the shape you want, and let it dry overnight, or as long as it takes to be 100% dry. When you remove the pins, your snowflake should be ready to hang up somewhere, or tuck back into its envelope, or use it for a bookmark -- whatever it is that you would like to do.

If that all seems like too much trouble (check out the pictures of pinned-out snowflakes in this blog if you want to see what you're signing up for), just shoot me an email, and most likely I will tell you that you can simply mail me your snowflake to put back in order. No charge, just whatever postage costs you to send it, which should not be much. I will send it back to you as soon as it is repaired.

See that forest of pins? There are only 7 snowflakes here!
It goes without saying that if you should wish to get some more of my hand-crocheted ornaments, I will be happy to talk to you about a custom order.

Thanks for supporting my little foray into the snowflake business!

22 October 2012

Now it's *really* snowing!

Although it has been a while since I posted about the snowflake project, I have been beavering away at it like some kind of an large nocturnal semi-aquatic mammal. As proof of this, I submit to you photographs. They're mostly weird angle macro photos because ... well. I am an Artiste, what can I say?

In any case, the photos are largely of snowflakes I made today, which I have just soaked in the stiffening solution and pinned out to dry. I am thinking I need to charge by the number of pins necessary to achieve the desired shape, because that seems to be the most time consuming part of this process.

Also pictured: A spinner display rack I scored at a thrift store for $6.50! Sweeet. As usual, click through to see the larger versions of these pictures. It is amazing how not-interesting glitter looks when it is sufficiently magnified!

I am not 100% on this yet, something like 92%, but I think I am also going to sell some cookies at the craft show next month. Just to see how that goes over. Assuming I can remove enough of the glitter from my person to make cookies without them being something like White Chocolate Glitter Chunk Surprise cookies.

21 September 2012

A Snowflake In Summer

Sure, the very last day of summer, but if you can't prop yourself up on a technicality, why get out of bed at all?

See anything unusual about this snowflake? It seems that about 30% of the snowflakes I have made have this same quirk. I realize that every snowflake is supposed to be unique, but there is probably a line somewhere between 'unique' and 'aberrant'...

ps, click to enlarge the picture and see my very restrained use of glitter!

13 September 2012

Currently On The Bench

I'm trying desperately to limit my ongoing-project-disaster-area to ONE piece of furniture. I am failing, of course, but I am sure my cohabitants appreciate the effort.  >___>

Here's a selection of snowflakes, with some un-dyed waxed eggs underneath, and bits of the recycled shopping bag project all over the place.

(Regan -- seeing this makes me wonder if, instead of individual cards, I shouldn't just pin the flakes to boards like this --this one is foam core-- and store / transport / sell them all on one piece of "furniture", and only package them when they are sold. Thoughts?)

11 September 2012

In The Works

I expect you're all wondering why I have asked you to come here today. I would like to make a couple of very special announcements, so if you'll please take yours seats, we can begin.

Thank you.

First, having arrived back on the native shores, I am wasting no time in making art community connections. A very productive and illuminating chat with the lovely, talented, and smart-as-hell proprietress of Warning Label Creations has set me on the path to sole proprietorship. Not only did Jamie show me the way to easy accounting practices and staying on the right side of the home business rules, but we also hatched a few ideas for future projects. Expect good things!

(Also, if you want to thank her for holding my hand on this stuff, do it by purchasing one of her awesome bags. If you need to know which one I want for my birthday, email me...)

Thanks, Jamie!

[wait for applause]

Secondly, in light of having discarded the vast majority of items I created while in Austria, I decided to prevent future discard tragedies by selling pretty much any and every thing I make from here on out. Currently I am fixated on crocheted snowflakes, and wax-resist dyed egg shells, so I am building up a stock of these things to sell as holiday decorations. I will be loading some of them into my Etsy shop, and will have more available to sell at the 49th Annual ASUNM Arts + Crafts Fair here in Albuquerque. If you are local, please come see me there!

I am still on the fence about a second fair, the Bandelier Elementary School Holiday Bazaar. The two major decision points on this are, will I have enough inventory to sell at both fairs, and, will I be allowed to sell baked goods at either?  (And, will anyone be available to help me at the Bandelier event, for when I need a bathroom break, etc...?)

Speaking of baked goods, did I mention I developed a new cookie recipe? Peanut butter with honey roasted peanuts. They are stupidly delicious.

[wait for applause]

Third, I have been volunteering some time with the organizers of the Albuquerque Mini-Maker Faire. This is the first year for this event, and however this turns out, I expect that future years will be full of interesting exhibitions and activities. I am really excited to get in at the beginning, because it is like watching a cake bake, or plants grow ... when the magic happens, it is exciting to know I have a little part in it. Also, I am looking forward to exhibiting next year, possibly in the interest area of materials re-use. Oh, and they let me have access to a whole box of spray paint cans and some canvas. Woooot!

Fourth, both inside and outside the context of the Mini-Maker Faire, I have been hobnobbing with the local zine scene here in Albuquerque. There was a very excellent Dirty Zine Reading event a couple of weeks ago, and more intriguing events to come. There is the annual Albuquerque Zinefest coming up ion October 6, which promises all kinds of good stuff. I am teetering on the brink of making a zine of my very own, which I have loved doing in the past. (Although, I admit, it's been a LONG time!) Many thanks to Lisa B for letting me into her zine-tastic world.

Fifth, I think that is most of it. There are pictures to come, of all these things and more. I know pictures are what make an art blog interesting, and I appreciate the time you've spent waiting for me to get to the point here.

/peace out

01 September 2012

Check This Out

DSC_9862 by dicatae
DSC_9862, a photo by dicatae on Flickr.

This morning I have been enjoying a set of flower portraits by Skip Smith. The whole set is there on Flickr, just click through to see it.

Skip has really developed his eye for composition and emphasis in these photos. Although the colors and level of detail are phenomenal, what I most appreciated was that he has essentially done the most difficult thing I know of -- he has recreated the experience of seeing the object first hand. He's turned the camera lens into an extension of not just the eye, but also the part of the brain that interprets what is seen. In looking at these photos, I lose my sense of looking at photos, and move into the sense of looking at flowers.

Maybe it helps that it is a cool, overcast morning, the right temperature and humidity for flower viewing, but then again, maybe it is the photos which created the mood.

23 August 2012

Maybe I don't have any art to show you, but here is a picture of me, wearing owlpaulettes. 

Watch this space.

19 June 2012

It's been a while almost 3 months since I put anything in here, and in part that is because while I have been making stuff, what I have been making is not intended for public consumption. It's basically skill-building stuff. You know ... practice! I have been working on my life drawing skills, and embroidery, and one of the most elusive skills around, paring down the stockpile of art crap to a manageable level.

There is a big, big relocation happening here, and I have no clue when I will be ready to post again. However, I am taking sketching materials with me on my journey, and really looking forward to setting up a workspace again on the other end of the wormhole.

Until then, I leave you with this photograph of my ex-espresso machine. (We broke up recently.) It is a truly utilitarian photo, but I find it somehow compelling.

23 March 2012

Headlong Toward Communism

Originally uploaded by Id Marks
Memento Park, just outside Budapest, Hungary, is well worth the visit if you are a fan of monumental tributes to communism. (I have no idea why, but I absolutely love this stuff!)

The sculpture I've sketched here is HYOOOGE! Awe inspiring. (Republic of Councils monument, this link goes to not-my-picture, but has a person in the frame for size reference.)
(Click through to Flickr for a few more slices of sketchbook from the week I spent in Budapest.)

Took a painting class...

Originally uploaded by Id Marks
'Free Watercolor' - techniques for rendering from life, photos, and from imagination, without getting all hung up on details. The jazz of painting.

It was fun, and I learned some super techniques. Not sure how much it will affect my painting in the future, but then again, I never am sure how much anything is going to affect my painting. :)

Click through to see the rest of the photos.

15 January 2012

Not Mine, Mine

First, here is a picture I love, and a link to lots more pictures I love ... Street Art Utopia is an aggregation of awesomesauce street art. I find it inspiring, and Right ... there is something inherently correct in ornamenting the world around us. Check out their annual collections of the best to see a bunch of super art all on one page.

Sadly, I didn't do any of that street art. I have gotten fixated lately with a crochet project I came across in the Crochet Me newsletter. They send out free patterns sometimes, and I was intrigued enough by a pattern I saw this week to actually sit down and learn to read crochet patterns. They are cryptic, and dense, and it is easy for me to lose my place. BUT! I have persisted, and learned some new stitches, and this is by FAR the most legitimate looking thing I have ever made with a crochet hook. It is far from done, I think I am going to need 8 more skeins of yarn to get there. But it is mostly down to a repetitive pattern to create length (this is a shawl), and not so much about doing complicated patterny things. The big piece here is about a foot long on the short side.

My brain has one front burner and a lot of back burner...  there is more stuff to come, but I think I need to get this project out of my brain before I am going to be able to get back to the the block printing.