Category Archives: Things to Wear
This was the party we anticipated all summer and it was fantastic! Marilyn and Allen opened up the old church and invited us all over for a fancy cotillion and pie fight party as a fundraiser for the Nomadic Theater Co., clowns who practice in the space. Heather and Sarah gave a short version of “Running into Walls” that they’ll be performing in NY in the fall. Fay taught us “stately dancing” which was pretty hysterical, as with clowns, I have two left feet. There were several pie related activities- pie judging on beauty, pie eating, and lots of pie throwing in THE PIE PIT. The last was a small ringed in area, similar to Mad Max’s Thunderdome, where there was a mele of bad behavior. Thankfully there was an outside shower, but I’m still pretty sticky. And while there was no official contest for hats, several of my firends stepped up to the plate (ah hem) and made some really great head gear….
Laura based the outfit on a penchant for Pirate wear and and wearing (at least once) the over-the-top (well almost) girly pirate shirt we found for her at the rennisance festival. The kids made their own hats too…
Xander decided his hat should be both manly and functional, since he spent most of the afternoon in the pie pit, on the receiving end, his creation was most appropriate….
Amy, the queen of craft and aces with a glue gun came in one hat, which she thoughtfully gave to me. I hope the dog doesn’t eat the marshmallow trim…
I was delighted to get such an elegant gift, so I sent her home in the petite chapeau I’d made for myself. We hope the party was a success for the clowns and that Marilyn was able to get the whipped cream off the walls, we love to do it again next year….
Another great party! Guests were asked to come in outfits inspired by text and this year’s theme was “The Elements of Style”. My friend CJ Beman has some lovely pictures on her site here…
The Grand Prize deservedly went to “Serif and Sans Serif” a brilliant and well executed costume, though I would have thought Serif would be the pregnant one, but perhaps it was more intentional irony…
My dress turned out quite nicely in the end, I also wrote the elemental description for carbon under my heels, so I could have diamonds on the soles of my shoes. Bo went as “Technical Writing” and won a lovely silkscreen wall print and a one year subscription to BITCH magazine- I couldn’t be more proud!
Oh irony, ye are a very cruel mistress on an ugly learning curve… Also known as “I hope the ink dries by Saturday”.
Tonight is the IPRC Text Ball, an annual benefit party for the Zine Museum, meeting center and classroom, which makes it’s home here in Portland. They host lots of cool classes on typography, printmaking, have a zine of the month club and lots of support services for independent publishers. For the ball, guests are encouraged to come in text inspired costumes- last year’s party theme was “Black and White and Red- All Over”. The outfits were amazing, one couple sewed a suit make from braille pages and came as a “blind date”, another guy decorated a gorgeously tressed toga and was “Times New Roman”. I sewed a newspaper ruffle to a red sequined gown, made 12′ newspaper boa and sewed photos of Karl Marx, the Rosenbergs, Che, Mao, Castro and excerpts from “the little red book” into the lining of my black trench coat. It took about a week to make the ensemble and I was absolutely delighted to win 1st place- Two tickets to see David Sedaris! Though I was kind of hoping for the third place prize, an hour long consultation with Kohel Haver a local arts attorney- who I’m hoping would be my lawyer, if I could ever afford him!
This year’s ball theme is “The Elements of Style”. Earlier this year, I loaned my friend Marilyn Zornado a copy of Maira Kalman’s delightful illustrated edition of the book. Being a woman of great appreciation, and inspiration, and also the party planner for the fund raiser, Marilyn declared, “I’ve found my ball!” So I’ve been pondering a costume for a bit now, and finally hit on something which seemed the appropriate vehicle to RETAIN MY TIARA. Actually, there was no crown, but there should be, if I win again, it will be my 1st royal mandate. I kicked around a couple concepts; the obvious, “pregnant pause”, or “dangling modifier”. I suggested my dad wear a noose around his neck and t-shirt which said “sleep with me?” so he could be a “hanging proposition” or he could write the words “and, with, because, therefore…” onto a jacket and he could be my “conjugal visitor” pop said it wasn’t that funny and a bit creepy in the oedipal sense, he offered to babysit instead, though he did have a great idea for a “semi-colon” which involved some Match-Box cars… you get the picture.
So for this year’s costume I’ve silk screened parts of the periodic table onto a white vintage dress- Au and Ag… White damask with gold and silver trim… Which in concept should be almost clever enough. But I’ve never really silk screened before, and I’ll be in a room of pros… I should have looked at the tutorial in Craft, but I thought I had it under control… I didn’t have the funds to buy emulsion- so I thought I’d try the screen-filler method of printing. So far so good, I put together a nice design for the element of gold, and remembered reading in the instructions reading, “this method is based on the idea of ‘negative’ images”, by this they mean you should fill in the areas of the screen which you don’t want the ink to permeate. I think my brain is still living in film/photography land- so when I read “negative images” I assumed I should put my design in reverse like a mirror… just in case you’re curious- the mirror image of gold is blog- take what you want from that- maybe next year the party theme will be palindromes- then I’ll really be ready.
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.