She felt me up

Amy’s bracelet I’m weak for Japanese craft books, they are so darn cute, it’s amazing to see what time consuming and complicated things people are willing to sit down and create. I love that I’ve no idea what the directions are saying- there is a great freedom there, if I screw up, it’s not because I did it wrong, it’s because I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do in the 1st place. This infatuation dates back to my childhood when my mother and crazy great aunt Myrtle in Texas would give me exotic Christmas gifts from the Japanese import store, seaweed crackers and books on origami. I longed to make the tiny paper animals but wasn’t sure how- sure there were directions, with minimal pictures and the occasional English translation of “mountain fold” and “valley fold” (which looking back is both visually helpful and creepily sexual). My animals didn’t turn out quite right, one legged frogs, bunnies with weak chins- but the process was exceptionally rewarding- I spent a lot of time folding and refolding the same square until it was limp like toilet paper, but eventually I’d get something, even if it was some creepy foil chimera monkey/squid hybrid.

I loved the textile paper, the diminutive animals and the exoticness of what I was making. I knew in my heart that the likely hood of another six year old spending her Saturday morning in the basement folding an ocelot in Lakewood, Colorado was fairly slim. I was making something unique and that was also very satisfying.

Lately I’ve been obsessed with felt appliquéing. I’ve decided not to go whole hog and actually make the felt. That’s just one more skill to get nutty over. For the moment it’s just cutting out cute shapes and sewing them down to anything that doesn’t move. Mostly things for Lucy, the boy’s too old for t-shirts made by mommy unless they had some type of bleeding robot skull and frankly making something like that of felt is just wrong, silkscreen maybe, but I’ve got to draw the line somewhere.

In the past I’ve gone free form on the designs, using cookie cutters for inspiration, or tattoos I’ve seen in books. I picked up a new book last week and it’s been the inspiration for four new mini projects. I can’t actually tell you the name of the book, again, in Japanese- but it’s lovely and my friend Amy and I are determined to make everything in it. To be fair, Amy made the bracelet above, but the over-the-top girly shirt which will get stained or destroyed on it’s 1st wearing, is my own handiwork.

Lucy’s shirt

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About Shawn

Shawn Bowman teaches kids film production at the Pacific College of Northwest Arts in Portland Oregon and consults on hybrid web/arts/events projects Bowman is co-founder of Indiekid Films, folks who believe everyone around the world, regardless of age should see and create great movies.

Posted on September 11, 2007, in Things to Wear. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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