Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hello! Last week I got to go see my best friend in Ohio, she is attending graduate school there. It was great spending a few days around an art enviorment again. I miss school often, and am not yet sure how I feel about going back for graduate school. The one thing that I know for sure is that I am addicting to making and being inspired and as long as I keep on I can choose graduate school in the future if I want. I have always loved going somewhere different than where I live for a few days, a trip can be the perfect cure for the mind and heart. On Saturday we got to go to a few different vintage/antique shops. I LOVE doing that, seeing old things, collecting, it is part of my making process. Sometimes if I can't be in my studio any longer I go down the road to the antique mall, or to diversity thrift, one of my favorite quirky things about Richmond. It was great going to new shops seeing new things, and it doesn't hurt to have one of my favorite people with me.

these photos are of the Dube in Columbus Ohio, a local bar/diner on the OSU campus.

The bathroom in the printmaking building, one of the professors there has a thing for Barbie.

While in Ohio, I also got to make a drawing on a litho-plate. P. is going to print it for me, seeing as how I have never made a lithography before. The drawing is a little boring on its own, basic pattern stuff, however I plan on hand coloring it, and maybe collaging some of it.

Places to go if you are ever in Columbus, Ohio:
Courier West- the coolest shop, anything from bones to lingerie.
The Book Loft- 32 rooms of books, enough said
Half priced books- great deals
German Village- great looking houses, fun area
Short North- fun shops, antiques
Ohio State Campus on a game day- nothing like it!

Today I got to come home early from work and I had plans to work on my lint project and make some pillows, but some how one thing lead to another and I re-arranged my bedroom a bit. It was the one space in my apartment that I had not taken the time to make my own yet. I mixed some vintage fabric prints, and some found objects and below is what I came up with. I will resume the lint project tomorrow. With new lint.

Monday, April 16, 2007

hook, hook, loop, hook.

Last year one of my favorite thrift stores, diversity thrift, changed locations from their huge somewhat falling apart warehouse to a more conventional clean building. At the time I was really sad that they were moving, the new place lacked the junk store feeling. A few weeks ago I went to the new location and found that they had brought some of the charm back with the new things in there, they had old bits and ends again, and things that no other thrift store would carry. Anyhow long story short, below is a picture of some shoes that my sister and I came across, they are a size 17 shoe. It was an overall opion that these must be drag queen shoes. I am not sure what I am going to do with them yet, if anything but I could not pass them up. My sister got the black pair and I kept these pink ones.

I have been hooking and looping my little heart out. I have to say this seems to be one of the most relaxing things to do at the end of the day to unwind from daily life. I am going to evetually connect them together and turn them into a blanket made of circles. (I am sorry these pictures are not the best.)

I will resume the lint project when I come back from my trip this week. I have been doing laundry so the materials are still coming. I have also come up with some new ideas for the lint pieces, many ideas floating around. I will make sure to keep track in my sketchbook while I am away so that I can re-start next week.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

loops and hooks

Who knew that a skill that I learned at 7 or 8 years old would not serve me a purpose till now... I had put crocheting on the list of things I knew how to do but would never use... well things do change, last night I was sitting here figuring it all out again to teach a friend, and I found a calmness from the motions of hooking and looping and making. I am about 3 inches into a flower shape and it is looking good. I am not sure what I am going to do with this but I think a blanket seems like a good place to go. OH MY! could it be that I am making something utilitarian... shhhh don't tell my mother! She has been making utilitarian things from textiles since before I was even a thought, and she has always had a giggle at the fact that I went to school for four years to do something that I would not let her teach me. I come from a family of textile makers, one of my aunts is a weaver, the rest of them crochet or embroider or sew, and my mother can crochet, make white work anything, sew, embroider with the utmost perfection... and that is just the textiles, don't let me get started on what she can do with a pot or a plant. I do not think that I will ever make solely for utilitarian purposes, but I have to admit looping and hooking, is a great place to rest my mind at the end of the day.

"The key to life is not to have a job but to have a purpose." -a quote from today

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

new blooms

Saturday I woke up shivering, and jumped out of bed to find a white ground outside my window. It is strange that I had almost forgotten how beautiful snow can be. It has barely snowed here at all this year and the little bit that did, melted within minutes. I was a little shocked to find the snow this weekend considering that it is already April, but I am glad that I got one chance at seeing the white stuff this year. It is so beautiful, calm and silent. The silence of snow never ceases to amaze me. I am not very good in cold weather but I think I would miss it if I never had it, four seasons seem to suite me. With each season, and the passing of time there is something new and different in the air, and also a sense of nostalgia.

These pictures are of an orchid that my mother gave me a few weeks ago. She has given me many orchids before but they usually do not make it more than two weeks in my hands, this is an improvement. I have seen three new blooms happen here in my apartment. It is so neat to leave and come back to find a partially blooming pod.... I am not sure that is the technical word for what orchids bloom out of, but it will work for me. I thought I would share these, they are inspiring to me and serve as reminders of new beginnings and how delicate they can be.

The lint project is not forgotten, but between going away last weekend, having a guest this weekend, and leaving again next week, I might not get to it for a little while. Meantime, I will continue to do laundry and collect the materials. I have been told by two sources that I should make the light box for them, thank you both for the reminder that I am able to build things and that I do not need to buy pre-made for this.... always good to have honest friends as reminders to not be lazy, or take the easy way.
I am going to re-learn crocheting tonight, I hope that this goes well. Maybe I will even be excited about it to the point of having a use for crocheting... who knows.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

my sewing machine is going to revault!

It has been a few days since last I wrote, I have been busy working on this lint project, and the nice weather has pulled me outside a bit I have to admit. So tonight I finally got to sew some of the lint pieces together and I am getting so excited about this piece. Here are some pictures of the pieces.

I love the simplicity of the thread mixing with the raw edge of the dryer sheets... The softness is so amazing to me, I think this piece might turn into a quilt... not a bed quilt but something to put on the wall, just using quilting techniques. My sewing machine is ready to revolt, I am going to give it a good cleaning tomorrow so that it does not give out on me, the lint is making it super-dusty.
While making this I held a few pieces up to the light to catch the colors and I LOVE the way it looks in the light so in addition to having this be a "wall quilt" I think I am going to put a light box behind it... anyone know of a good source for a light box... a BIG one!?!?
This is what they look like with light behind them....aren't the amazing!

These are the raw edges, some of you may already know my obsession with raw edges. They are raw and drape beautifully they create a softness in a raw unfinished piece. I hardly ever actually cut these off.

I love to know about where people create, see their spaces, get a glimpse of what makes them tick.... everyone needs a room of their own... below are glimpses into mine.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

lint and dryer sheets

For the past month I have been collecting all my lint and dryer sheets, after they were used. When I began doing this I had no idea what I was going to make or do with them. I was just fascinated with the patterns, colors, and texture that they produced. Sometimes this is how I work, I collect for a while, random bits and ends from my daily life. (Some of you will recall the underwear and bra pieces from college...) The things that I collect are parts of my daily life, my path, my time, my history that I write each day. It all goes back to the reason that I named this blog Ana's Layers; I have always worked with layers literally and figuratively. The layers in my pieces are seen but also hidden, as in life. With my autobiographical work I like to conceal some layers hidden beneath the surface, but expose myself just enough so that the viewer knows what it is that I am trying to convey. Sometimes I feel naked to the viewer. So the lint and dryer sheets... Here I go again self-portrait/exploration with this one. I have started pining it all down and will begin sewing tomorrow. It seems that no matter what I am doing in life or where I am going, there are points where I need to explore myself as I explore new materials.