Archive for March, 2010

Facebook Blues

Posted in finds, socialization with tags , , on March 31, 2010 by darcyarts

I have a profile on Facebook. There are lovely people with whom I interact. Today, I used the friends search to look up old, old acquaintances, names from 30 years ago, childhood friends.

Something in me wants to see the shining lights they’ve all become. Something in me would love to know they all had wonderful adventures and are living this life with gusto.

Life is very strange. It often meanders.

I had a dream last night that I walked through a neighborhood, marked with southern California vegetation and style.

I saw a gathering of children and mothers. I looked up on a hill towards a large building. It was the Church of Disney. All the young girls were dressed in short Cinderella drag and their faces were molded over in makeup that obscured their natural features.

I was disgusted by the existence of this confluence of religion, worship and fantasy-based commerce.

Many of us grow up with a full set of ideas about the world that are the result of film, TV, books. We can have a tough time telling fiction from reality.

Disney products, especially, altered the minds of many young women. Stories of Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty and of abandoned children who always manage to find their way back home set up certain expectations.

Enchanting, dramatic and sentimental films, Hollywood classics  made us feel we live in a very special world. I still believe I am wearing Hollywood-colored glasses a great deal of the time. I think thta’s why I hate to go to WalMart and feel the big contradiction.

John Casavettes said this: “Maybe there never was an America maybe it was all Frank Capra.

We love stories and stories are good. I make up stories in my head all the time, about people I don’t know, about the beautiful grooviness I imagine for a particular setting I see. I long to have the story of someone I’ve known have a sweet icing-on-the-cake ending.

I could find few from my past on Facebook but one really sad find was the present day photo of a formerly sweet, simple hippie boy from my hometown.

We lived on a commune in the high desert. His girlfriend was the coolest person I’d ever met. He had a beautiful doggie, a chocolate Lab, and an interesting best pal from our shared home town of Santa Ana.

Both of us are Aries, too.

In his Facebook photo he was all got up in a suit and tie. I got the vibe of a minister. I got the vibe of “please somebody love me,” a sort of desperate I’m-looking-for-women intent. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe this former hippie lad has more Pisces than I. Maybe he could never find the right bowl to swim in.

I know that although he married the cool girl and they had a couple of babies they eventually divorced. I found that out reading the cool girl’s obituary last year.

I’m so thankful my partner is right for me and strong in all the way that matter to me and that we share the same values — art for art’s sake, nonmaterialism, a longing for peace, a respect for all creatures and entities of the earth and beyond. That was a hippie mentality but the world sometimes warps the tender. Some of the stories we hear send us onto false paths.  We’ve all been at least part way down a wrong road.

You can let your light shine no matter where you are walking and maybe this guy, this former hippie youth shines in his own way, even trussed up like a banker. We all go through changes. Hell, I wear ties.

The Church of Disney and Capra have given me a lot to wake up from but there is a perfection in all effort no matter how sloppy, and even if the picture comes out a little bent and fuzzy it’s all good work.

Thick Clouds

Posted in etsy, finds, gardening, nature, plush critters with tags , , , , on March 29, 2010 by darcyarts

There sits a deep blanket of clouds above this morning. The wind is blowing and rumour has it rain is in our immediate future.

I will be getting to work today on my giant peace symbol pattern and cutting material though right now I am severely tempted to go check out the sweet clean dumpster where I found my rusty old tire chains last week.

There maybe something cool that I should grab before the rain comes.

I noticed when out in the yard yesterday that we have a couple of iris readying themselves for bloom.

They are planted along the wooden fence you see here. For a few weeks each spring they make a pretty purple show. There are a few yellowish flowers that sneak in. They are my favorite.

The catnip is raging already, three buckets full.

We’ll have a bumper crop for my kitty catnip squid toys over at DarcyArts.

The homegrown is far superior to the catnip at our local health food store. The last time I was forced to buy it it was full of foxtails, stems and had little aroma.

I want the kitties who receive DarcyArts toys to be pleased and ecstatic. Most cat owners rave that the kitty is on to the squiddie the minute they open the box. Ah, success! Check out these satisfied customers.

RAD Pony Head

Posted in Art, constructions, cute, etsy with tags , , , , on March 28, 2010 by darcyarts

Finished the first segment of my pillow project and am taking a break this weekend though I may not remember how to be still.

Two really fun custom projects in a row kept the show on the road.

These big fat pillows are about 22 inches tall, 16 inches wide and  five inches thick. They are super cuddly and a joy to stitch together.

While working on the finishing stitches I can rest my arms on their oh-so-soft surface. Dreamy.

The patterns were made by taking a fairly small regular font printed on a piece of paper, capturing each letter as  a digital image and them blowing it up as much as possible. More paper was taped onto the 13 x 17 base letter to get the exact shapes I wanted.

These were for designer Chele McKee who does beautiful work.

She wanted a funky, chunky childlike look for displays of kid”s clothes. Funky and childlike is my thing.

Like all plush creations these pillows are so comforting to hold. They are soft, soft, soft.

There is something inviting about the heft of these, too.

We now have custom letter pillows over at DarcyArts!

These very fat letters make great pillows for lazing on the bed, the couch or your favorite chaise lounge.

Oh how I covet a chaise lounge.

My current dream is to happen onto a nice comfortable lounge in one of Redding’s nice thrift stores.

I think it’s time to paste up cut out pictures to  make the magic happen. Come to me, Chaise.

In the past, my imagination craved a deep purple curve couch. I haven’t run into it yet.

I have had the urge to make my own couches. Just cobble them together out of crude elements and nice soft coverings. I know it’s not that simple but why shouldn’t it be. Everything is made from simple shapes, connecting them in a functional way.

I still have so many things to discover. It’s all problem solving. There are two ridiculously large bean bag chairs that my son, Brain left here. Someday I will figure out how to turn them into more user-friendly, less space consuming seating. Maybe I could turn them into funny bear skin rug mats. Sort of big chunky flat lounge throws. Hmm. I feel impelled to use that bean bag stuffing material.

I was going to take the stuffing out of  this mishap “7” but just holding it changed my mind. It’s such a comfortable pillow and could used beneath a tired neck.

It looked kind of like a pony head. I added eyes and a mane and viola!

I will make these for the DarcyArts.Etsy shop, too

A few tweaks will refine these ponies. Maybe a bridle, a slightly more rounded and shorter jaw. They will make cuddly huggable pillow friends.

I’ll do them in brown, reddish, black  and tan. We all need to hug something or somebody.

Chains

Posted in finds, television with tags , , on March 27, 2010 by darcyarts

I did a little dumpster diving early Friday morning. Not really diving but peeking into large containers that might harbor some nice cardboard.  I found a really nice, humongous container that I’ll certainly revisit.

Most things were wet from Thursday rain and hail. I found some old rusty snow chains that I just had to rescue.

They are very heavy and may be made for truck tires. They are wide, right?

I have never had to deal with tire chains in any way. I just like rusty things and chains and metal and here they are like metal drapes.

Since my last move four years ago I swore off dragging home rusty junk. I don’t want to end up like the junk farmers I see in American Pickers, acres of stuff they’ll never use, piles that just grow and grow until the earth reclaims  all of  it.

The hooks caught my eye and I’ve imagined being able to take lengths of the chain to make really butch jewelry.

Will my little electric saw cut through these links? I have metal blades.  These chains are completely functional, not broken at all. They are too heavy and well made to fall apart.

Tax Time Try Outs

Posted in projects with tags , , , on March 25, 2010 by darcyarts

I’m busy! Taxes are going to be very different this year than last. I’ve received and lived on the meager amount of retirement bucks squirreled away while employed. I created a very small business and have to do the math on that enterprise.

I’m trying Turbotax. So far it’s easy. I like the little tote box that counts up your return as you go along. Kaaching!

The taxes will have to wait until I get the first part of a new custom order done.

I’m finishing off two more big fat pillows  in the shape of letters and numbers. The I get to make peace signs and hearts. ♥

Parsley Recipes?

Posted in food, gardening with tags , , on March 24, 2010 by darcyarts

Last year at the end of spring I picked up a couple plants marked cilantro. They were not cilantro which I love but parsley. This season the parsley, along with my catnip (yea!) is back.

I do not know what to do with it.

I took a quick look at recipes on the net. I got excited by the idea of parsley pesto but then realized that recipe used Italian parsley. I have the regular tough, strong flavored parsley.

I could put it in mashed potatoes but that would ruin the potatoes for me. They are fine all by themselves.

Soups, stews, and salads. Okay, but you need so little.

Greek shrimp and pasta calls for parsley, I’ve read, but just knowing I would prefer the taste of cilantro to parsley in any of the recipes causes me frustration.

Does anyone out there know of a good recipe that somehow makes the most of the flavor of parsley?

I guess I could dry it and just sprinkle a bit in things.


Pickers

Posted in shopping, TV with tags , , on March 23, 2010 by darcyarts

Since we switched to watching our favorites shows through Hulu and the wonders of HDTV we have a lag time for some shows. We have to wait until Tuesday to catch up with Monday’s fare.

It certainly no pain in comparison to the $100 saving on our cable bill.

Waiting a day for the new Castle, All My Children, John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, has been a lot easier since we discovered the History channel’s American Pickers. Read New York Times TV article here.

It airs Monday night at 9 p.m. in California.

These guys, BFFs, Mike Wolf and Frank Fritz, really know vintage. We, the viewers get to accompany them on their mostly mid-western treasure hunts and it is fascinating work.

They are likable, though they definitely could give the girl back at the business end less shit. Check them out. You’ll learn something.

Ridiculously Early

Posted in TV with tags , , , on March 22, 2010 by darcyarts

Farmer’s hours have been working out well for me. I usually have two or three hours of quite work-think time in the morning before the world is ready to rock my soul.

Unfortunately, I am ready to flop by 5 or 6 p.m. Just a little relaxation with a book or Rachel Maddow. Before you know it I’m fading out and the bed is so comfortable and my eyelids are getting heavy.

AMC’s brilliant Breaking Bad has started it’s third season and I was well hooked by the middle of the first.

I have absolutely got to stay up later even if that means sleeping in and losing my alone-exercise time.

Photo from IGN TV. Read their Breaking Bad story here

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are amazing. I must see where they go from here. I guess the plot, already so very hard core, is to go towards more violence. The writers have managed to keep it human and entrancing so far. Let’s hope they don’t get lazy.

I was so foggy and on the verge of falling asleep last night for the first show of the season that I didn’t get the most out of it.

I want to be awake and ready for the second episode next week. I’ll get on the bike when I get back from taking Frank to school from now on. Or something like that.

Breaking Bad is mad brilliance and they’ve got me right where they want me.

Cherry Bomb

Posted in film with tags , , , on March 21, 2010 by darcyarts

What better way to start my post-henna pack, hair dryer bake, exercycle  day than filling my brain with thoughts of the 70s girl group the Runaways. Does that sentence get a “?” ?

Salon has a good review of Floria Sigismondi’s  film The Runaways. Not that I always agree with Stephanie Zacharek. She’s the writer who gave A Single Man a sot of slammy review, or rather gave Tom Ford’s film shit because she couldn’t let go of the fact that he has had a career as a clothing designer. She was not alone in that shortcoming. Must to the brilliant Mr. Ford’s annoyance, marrying the fashion career with Ford’s first cinematic effort was the bad journalism lead move.

Anyway, hot ballsy chicks, rock n roll and the desperate connivings of a true Hollywood street punk, Kim Fowley, is my cup of tea and Zacharek writes a good review.

This picture is from Filmofilia which also has  reviews.

Can’t wait till it arrives at Prime 11.

Like a Coraline Doll

Posted in Art, constructions, cute, etsy, family, handmade, projects with tags , , , , on March 19, 2010 by darcyarts

Last night I finished one of the most fun projects I’ve ever done.

I made a custom Coraline doll for Renee and daughter, Rosemary in Louisiana.

You remember the soft blue hand-dyed cotton yarn hair?

It looks great on the head.

It is a pleasure to slowly fit it stitch into its place. I loved the colors and soft materials I used.

Rosemary, the girl who will receive the doll is two years old. She is a beautiful child and was the real inspiration to make this doll extra special.

This doll will be an Easter surprise. Lucky doll girl.

In the pictures I used as references the Coraline doll has ears but I sorta like her without them. She’s prettier without.

Almost forgot the freckles.

It will be sad to see this doll go but I know she will be loved. Rosemary’s mom said so.

I have pictures.

It was super fun making the crazy, cool boots. It’s the first time I made eyelets.

I love stripey tights.

Some of my other dolls may now have feet. I’m seeing some Victorian dolls with pointy little black shoes and long dresses.

That means under garments, too, lots of pantaloons and petty coats. I’ll keep my eyes peeled at the thrift stores.