Archive for August, 2009

Black, White and Magenta

Posted in Art, constructions, millinery with tags , , on August 30, 2009 by darcyarts

MBScreenI finally made prints from my Marc Bolan silkscreen.

The pix of the black and white image came out kinda blue. I was shooting in morning light. It must have been very early.

MBPrintDuoI will use these on a top hat even though that seems redundant -picture of a top hat on a top hat.

Boogie children.

Today is day two of what I aim to make a solid year of morning stationary bicycle riding.


If I get up, plug my iPod into my ears and hop on the bike I’ve done 5 miles before I even realize it. I suspect the meter that records miles is a bit off but maybe it goes so fast because I have it set for more resistance. Peddling backwards is harder, too. I try to do a couple of minutes of backward peddling. I include arm and torso stretches from my sitting position.

I just ripped through it this a.m. I’m certain it was the Roxy Music. Do the Strand got me off to quite a start. By the time I reached in Every Dream Home a Heartache I was ready for the day.

Hours later I feel ready for a nap. Maybe too much?

I’m working on chimp faces while top hats spin in my brain.

I have laid in so many great materials that I could compose hats for days and days.

Magenta4TopHatThe furry magenta I found at a thrift store. The patterned magenta I found at a different thrift shop.

I think a furry brim would be great and the rainbow sash will add just the right touch to an already over the top top hat.

Maybe a green circle of leaves and flowers  would make a nice contrast on the hat band. I’ can make them of fleece.

I don’t think I can give it up. It will be one of a kind unless I find that I can squeeze two brims from the small patch of furry material.

I say, bring back Edwardian dress. I see that Target has white ruffled long sleeve shirts and little black vests.


Art Army

Posted in Art, constructions, dreams, millinery with tags , , , on August 28, 2009 by darcyarts

Folk and rock musicians of the 50s and 60s incited desire  in the hearts of many and gave birth to a massive army of players. It seemed everybody had a guitar.

The democratization of art has come about with the DIY,  low brow phenomena and now everyone has a paint brush or Wacom pad.

There are new buildings being constructed for ART here at Shasta college and elsewhere.  That’s cool.

The coolest young man who ever worked at Barnes and Noble, a real lover of books, ideas and literary pursuits confided yesterday that he is off to Art School. Kudos and blessings upon your name, son.

Despite the mindless squawking of  ignorant haters this is a time of high creativity.

My Frank, a natural born artist, is taking art classes and loving it.

Right now I’m feeling my Mars-in-Taurus need to make something useful. Hats enchant and I imagine a world where all the young dude artists of all genders habitually wear head gear.

This week was all about trying the Top Hat and the Edwardian women’s version which is softer, more rounded and deliciously, elaborately decorated. Will the dandyish Edwardian style of dress creep back into vogue?

I want to try my hand at making fleece and velvety flowers for my bigger hats.

I’m waiting for the sun to come through the window so I can get a couple of good shots of my latest Top Hat prototype.

This is the tallest so far. The brim is a little floppy. Next time I’ll use a layer of stiff material between the two layers of black.


This hat is made with some stretchy denim I found at the thrift store.

I’m finding the black hats are a bit hard to capture on film.

I was ready to snap new pix this morning.

I had about two minutes of sun before the clouds came in.

I got a few shots of the top hat with a glittery rainbow sash before the gray came on.

This gauzy material is so beautiful. Glimmering Rainbow dots on black net material. I want to buy more but I must fight my urge. I’m amassing materials at an alarming rate.


Later in the day, after I’d sent off a handmade dragon, I bought some rasta hair for her.

HeadwWigFullShe’s looking pretty cool.

For seven bucks I got a thick “Bob Marley” pony tail that covers her head.


Hats Galore

Posted in Art, constructions, millinery with tags , , , , on August 25, 2009 by darcyarts

This week, so far, has been about getting a soft top hat together.

The first try had a brim that was a bit large. This is with the top of the top hat pushed in a bit. I like the way it looks. This is without a decorative band or any kind of extra adornment.

WideBrimAboveLtThis shot angle finds Millinery Marilyn Manson looking very demure.

The light in the room is very schizophrenic. I can catch the sunlight just right at a certain angle and then at another it is much darker. White balance?

WidebrimFull2I got a wonderful book, a pictorial history of hats from the 17 Century to the 1970s. It is full of great illustrations and pictures of all kinds of head gear.

We should all wear hats whenever possible.

WidebrimBackLtI like the gray hats.

I made a puffier, more Victorian-style ladies top hat today. This one is a shape I really wanted to try. I think this brim is a bit too narrow. I’ll make the next one wider.

I’m using the snipped plastic ties as stays in the bands of the hats and it’s working very well.

I tried to sew circles into the brim of today’s hat. It seemed to intensify the curls.

IMG_8886It looks kinda cool. I used the sleeves of a very plastic blouse for the trim. I really liked the pattern but hated the feel when I wore it.

I’ve added a fake pink flower that I found near a mail box where I deposited  our latest Netflix DVD Scott Walker: 30th Century Man.

That film was very interesting but touched with Capricornian dourness.

ShortBrimPinkFlwrNow that I’vebeen looking at my head form for a few days I really like it. Still, it may be too jarring to be an effective model.

I’ll try another head form and my goal will be to create a very smooth surface before I put the face on. I did not gesso this first one. It may have evened out the rough spots a bit.

I need to make a head that is a bit smaller. Only my large hats fit this one.

I made a cute cap from some nice, oddly polka dotted fleece Sunday.

BrownPolkaDotLeftAThe pattern of these dots are very strange. I love the sherbert colors with the chocolate brown.

BrownPolkaDotTopBackBrownPolkadotTopCLThis is a small cap. I have enough of this material to make two more. I want to keep one.

I’ve got a really nice taupe to use for the Victorian ladies puffy hat and some killer pink furry material for a tall top hat.

I have really cool Halloween-themed netting with spider webs and skull and cross bonedsto drape on black top hats. I may try a top hat in white.

These are all things I’ll delight in engineering in the coming days.

I just love this work.

I’m working on having at least four chimps ready for Mail Chimp’s chief primate wrangler when he’s back in September so I have to keep a handle on my time.

Both enterprises are valid.

I sent in an application for the Bazaar Bizarre Holiday craft sale in San Francisco. I will be utterly stoked if I get to participate. They notify applicants on Sept. 30.

Send me your good energy folks.


Weekend Head Update

Posted in Art, constructions, millinery with tags , , , , , on August 23, 2009 by darcyarts

Friday, I applied more  layers of paper onto my DIY head form. I used pages from last year’s telephone book, thin boxes from crackers, cereal, etc, and finished it off with nice white printer paper I once knicked from the Record Searchlight recycle bins.


My impatience shows in this face I have created. I didn’t work the papier mache until I’d smoothed the surface. My head is very craggy and rough.

It may not be too noticeable from the distance required to have my hats in the photo. In these photos I was close up on the head.

HeadFormOmCapAThis head started out very German Expressionist. I was feeling a George Grosz vibe in the beginning. The eyes and the pink softened it.

Now, I think it looks like Marilyn Manson.

This is a really interesting painting by George Grosz.

His work is often focused on the seedier elements of urban life.

I dig the anchor tattoo on this guys bald head. I can’t really tell what else in on his head.

The skinny red tire is cool, too.

The man appears to have on lipstick but I think that is the artist’s touch.

Marilyn Manson wears lipstick well.

I love Marilyn Manson’s face. He has a nice big nose and great lips.

When he doesn’t have those contacts on his eyes you can clearly see a lot of kindness in his warm hazel eyes. That’s what won me over.

Tenderness. I believe I see tenderness in those eyes. I know he loves dogs. He just took on a strange personae for his rock thing.

I would love to do a book of glamour shots of Marilyn and contacts would be forbidden. So would grimaces. He would have to lay back and look enchanting and calmly sensual. Damn, I wish I could really do that project.

Marilyn Manson, dude, can you hear me?

Oh, yes, and Marilyn Manson is most definitely an artist.

Head, Day Two

Posted in Art, constructions, projects, TV with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2009 by darcyarts

DIYHeadFormBThis is my DIY head form. My first papier mache project. I’d already had the chicken wire base made, the head and shoulders and yesterday I began slapping on strips of paper and pages of last years telephone book.

Today I added a second layer to shape the head. I made lips and ears, a chin and a forehead. I used recycled box packaging, stripped of it’s slick printed outside layer.

I made the head slightly larger and smoothed out elements of the face.

The head is drying out in the 100 degree weather. Summer is a good season for papier mache.

Next I gesso it, I guess, and then paint and polish it. I’ll have fun creating a face for the hat display head. Should I, can I make it androgynous?

I may have it done in the time it would have taken for a mail order head to arrive.

DIYHeadFormA I started a new book this week. It’s an autobiography of Thomas Beatie, who became famous for being the first(?)  female to male transsexual to undertake a pregnancy.

I had seen Thomas and his wife Nancy on Oprah. They seemd like really bright, good people.

As I read the sad story of Thomas’ childhood I am amazed and impressed by just how kind and mellow a person he is. His dad was a beast.

Reading his recollections of crazy intermittent abuse and the loss of his mother when he was 12 years old was very sad.


Sad and sickening, actually. I don’t understand how humans can be mean to children. I admire the way Thomas was eventually able to shape his life in such a positive way and find a loving partner. I’ll keep reading.

Can anybody feel my pain over the new season of LA Ink. It is a reality series that I really love but I can’t understand the Aubry Drama “plot” this season. It’s a big fat drag and mostly because it seems soo very manufactured. I know reality TV is entertainement. I know in some places it’s crude, rude and creepy but dang this didn’t used to be one of those places.

What happened?

Does anybody care? I never find intersting bloggy reviews of this show. Somebody help me out.

Maybe Head Form

Posted in constructions, cute, projects with tags , , , on August 20, 2009 by darcyarts

Today I am getting to the papier mache project that I first dreamed up last year.

I had envisioned making papier mache busts of females and males and inbetweenies.

I was swept downstream by other projects, custom orders and never had the time but today I am starting a bust, a head form, because necessity is the mother of invention.

I have hats and I think I need to have a head model for them.

I spent time browsing through head forms on line yesterday. Some are lovely, one, from eBiz Display, even had a rotating head. Not like Exorcist rotate.

It swivels into different positions and that would be really cool for photos but I have the darndest streak of DIY that rises up every time I look at a $26 postage charge.

I know that that charge is not exorbitant. I mail things and I know the heads are heavy. I should stop being cheap and just get one. I’d probably have it before I finish the homemade version.

She’s cute even without her wig. I’m not sure I see my cap wearers like this.

Maybe with this wig. But looking at this wig I wanted this model’s face but could not find it on the eBiz site. The more I looked at all the model faces the more I disliked their far away looks.

The bald model is cute and seems nice but really, doesn’t she look like she’s remembering something a little unsettling?

I love to paint faces and I think it will be fun to try to make an attractive head form.

Shall I buy it a wig?

Maybe. You can get a nice fakey one for $20.

I like this wild haired wig.

I get to play with starchy paste and paper strips today. We’ll see if I can bring it off.

The model heads are a bit small at 21″ and 22″ head circumference. With a wig that size would be fine.

Will I build in long locks on my head form?

I’ll need to let the papier mache dry thoroughly, then I’ll paint, then I’ll Mod Podge. I found two whole bottles of the crafters creamy goop at the Discovery Shop craft sale last month. I hope it’s semi-fresh.

I am also planning on making the first print from my new Marc Bolan silkscreen.

MBScreenA1The image is destined for a Big Fat Top Hat.

I decided I could make top hats from fleece if I had a ribbing type structure to help hold the band upright.

In the absence of whale bone I came up with a more eco-friendly substitute: nylon ties.

NylonTiesI bought a bag of 25 of these 36 inch ties at Home Depot. They cost about $10.

I will probably use only one tie per hat. Six, six inch strips should be perfect.

I’m not sure what the builders do with them. Bundle items of some sort?

TieBagThe bag hangs neatly on my material shelf.

I can’t wait to try this. If I have time I’ll try it today.


With Frank is school I will now adjust to our new schedule. No more long days. I’m back to built-in interruptions in my work time. I need the breaks though and I can combine the taxing trips with errands.

Today, I’m good until about 2:40 p.m. That means I’ve got to get to work right now. Have a great day, chil’ren. Reach for the stars.

Cute Escape

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18, 2009 by darcyarts

KittyAh, That’s better. Soothe my jangled nerves lil’ kitty.

It’s been a few days since I posted anything here. I focused all my energy on getting my hats onto Etsy this weekend.

I spent the last few days catching up on chimp production and then a lovely Etsian ordered one of my little pink whales.

I made a really beautiful flower for the whales big round head.

This morning I stopped at the Farmer’s Market. I bought beautiful  flowers.

FlowersI also bought fresh tamales and green chili sauce. It made a great breakfast.

Why do I need to pamper myself today?

Tomorrow is my phone interview with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. I had to read through the materials the Record Searchlight sent to the board.

One last time I’m reliving the mess that marked the end of my career in journalism.

I admit I was glad to see a few bald face lies in the documents.

My supervisor was supposed to have another supervisor with us when we had these proposed meetings. She did not do so in our contentious first meeting, which is as far as we got, and then she lied about having the managing editor in attendance. I didn’t know until today that the HR person had suggested she have a third party there.

It would have made me feel alot better about the whole game had I known that was an option. It was all her assumption all the time about what I did on the day she wasn’t never at the paper.

I felt the fix was is and I wasn’t willing to spend one more second taking her snotty, condescending, disrespectful attitude.

After tomorrow I will never have to think about it again.

A celebration is in order. I started early.

‘Round Midnight

Posted in constructions, dreams, etsy, shopping with tags , , , on August 14, 2009 by darcyarts

So it’s getting close to midnight and I’m up at the computer.

This is the eve of my DarcyArts.Etsy Head Gear Rollout. I’ve paid for Facebook ads over the weekend.

I’m doing this presentation in a coherent focused fashion.

At the stroke of twelve I’ll open the warehouse doors and send the listings out to do their thing.

I want people, shoppers, to feel how much I love this enterprise.

My explorations in color and texture and sensual construction are coming together in the millinery art.

CaramelBoxCapI made this cakebox cap today just for the sheer joy of making something warm, comfy and useful. It makes me happy to think of heads staying toasty despite the chill winds of fall and winter.

It makes me even happier to imagine that maybe, just maybe people will want to be seen in my unique head gear. Why Not?

CaramelBoxCapCLI want to combine elements that are unique to my sensibilties.

This caramel cap is adorned with an image from a Tibetan prayer flag.

Sometimes I remind myself: Tibetan monks are praying for my liberation at this very moment.

I know that I’m a bit of a weirdo and that there may be only a few who feel my aesthetic.

I want to send caps out into the world and have them excite people.

SoftMandalaCapFullTopI’m making most caps to order.  The caramel cap is one of a kind.

So is the Hand Cap. They are works of folk art, moties. Please dig it.


Good Fun Work

Posted in constructions, cute, etsy, projects with tags , , , , on August 13, 2009 by darcyarts

I’ve been busy working, but my work takes me out for supplies and trips to the post office and it’s been nice.

BandageHelloKitty1The  Hello Kitty bandage was stuck to the asphalt near were I parked my car on my last trip to the post office.

I had to snap a photo. I love these accidental images.

The last time I watered the strip of garden that runs along the northern fence water sprayed from a hole in hose onto this spider web.


Afterward, it looked like it was hung with diamonds.


I hope the spider didn’t mind. I think he hid out for a spell but he’s back this morning.

Chimps are still coming to life in the sewing work space. I grabbed a few more bags of super silky stuffing, finished sewing on heads, united them with their torsos. Today I’ll stitch the arms and legs into place, straighten a smile, set their caps.

Next week I’m expecting to create a plush rocket for a man in the Netherlands. Fun, fun, fun. I love custom work!

The long awaited hat roll out at DarcyArts. Etsy is just days away. Saturday morning they’ll be ripe for picking!

I spent the yesterday’s a.m. hours putting together two hats that came out well.

HandCakeboxFrontAI’ve been thinking about what I will call my hats of this shape.

I’ve decided to call them Cakebox Caps.

This is a design I have wanted to create for a while. I saw a cap,  worn by a musician in a Charles Mingus documentary, with a hand and arm wrapped around it.

This is my take on the open hand hat. I’ve stitched the elements onto the band/base of the cap.

handCakeboxSupaCLI really like this one. I can do endless riffs with this basic idea.

I found some material a few weeks back with these soft beige, pink, white and pale green mandala designs.

I’ve been waiting to make a cap from it.

SoftmandalaSide This beautiful trim was found in a thrift store not long ago. I love this cap, too.

SoftMandalaCLThe caps are made with a variety of band sizes. This mandala band is 3.5 inches in height, not counting the dome curve.

The open hand cakebox cap is five inches so it sits boldly on the head.

The bands of five inches will cover the ears and that makes the perfect for the chilly regions of the country.

GirlySkullFrontThe band on the Girly Pirate Skull cakebox cap is six and a half inches which makes it long enough to roll.

It’s a cool touch and makes the design more accomodating for a variety of heads.

I love being a milliner!!!! ♥♥♥


Posted in music with tags , , , , on August 12, 2009 by darcyarts

To preserve health and well being one must take certain measurements.

There are things that are good for us and things that are not. Measurement allows us to limit the bad and increase the good.

I vow, for my own health, to take stock of the amount of  music I absorb. In the past, I never had to think about it. I always got enough.

These day, like exercise, I might skimp on the amount I need to keep me healthy.

Reading through one of my fave blogs this morning I watched a video of a baby’s first year. The accompanying tune was enchanting. I loved it. It was familiar. Yes. I knew the voice. Not just knew, but loved, the voice. It was like a dear old friend that I hadn’t seen in months, years.

“I can tell that we are going to be friends. Walk with me Susie Lee . . .”

What was it? Who was it?

Shit, it’s Jack White!

What a frightening experience. I was aghast. It took me so long to recognize what I was hearing.  Is it proof that my cognition is ebbing away or just a sharp warning that I need to listen to more music?

There are demands on my attention each day, but I can still negotiate the intersection of my listening pleasure and responsibilities.

I’ve been taken aback by technology. That is one stumbling block. The CD player in my big work space won’t play many burned CDs. The CD player in the kitchen sewing, chimp-construction-space skips, maybe just on burned CDs. It plays tapes. I got a million of them.

I’ve got the Nano. I can only take so many hours of having my head clamped into the exclusionary earbud box. Will I have to buy an iPod dock? Do they have compact combo docks and CD players?

I think I will upload some White Stripes today.

Damn those celebrity mags. Listening to White Blood Cells makes me think of Jack White and Renee Zellweger.  I just get mad all over again. How could a girl flake out on Jack White?

Yes, he’s probably demanding, eccentric and cautious with his heart. Isn’t every double Cancer? It could have been about possessiveness. He has Mars in Taurus. He is a big hunk of dreamy, though and Kenny Chesney absolutely is not.

How could she marry that super creepy fake cowboy dude? Ewww.

I know, to each his own, but the whole episode definitely left me questioning RZ’s taste.