Archive for chimps

Stitching and Dreaming

Posted in constructions, dreams, film, food with tags , , , on October 5, 2009 by darcyarts

Few projects are without moments of frustration, says the Yod.

Night goggles sewing image from

At the end of my work day Saturday the bobbin in my first, and new,  sewing machine kept getting hung up. I gingerly removed the screws from the bobbin case cover, fearing this operation. I removed the plates and then the lint balls that seemed really unhealthy. I put the cover back on. I hadn’t seen any tricky parts. I wasn’t concerned about putting it back incorrectly.

Sunday I still couldn’t undo the snag and after four additional tries to make sure the cover was on right I faced the fact that I must buy a new machine. I am on a tight schedule. The costumed chimps must be out by Oct. 9.

JoAnn’s had a nice, reasonably priced Singer. I got it home, the whole time fretting about the hours I was losing.

I took it out of the package, popped the “quick start” dvd into the player near the work station and set the thing up. When I went to check the booklet to clarify something about the stitch selection dial I noticed the back page looked like someone had used it as a placemat for a dessert of pumpkin pie.

The first few pages were stuck together by some barely visible substance.

Then I noticed that the accessory bag was open, the little package of replacement needles were opened. Some of the needles were gone. I found them in the storage drawer in the machine.

Was I going to keep this machine?

I’d tried a test stitch while fiddling with the dials. It was nice. The stitch mechanism moved smoothly and felt substantial. It had more of a deep steady growl than my Brother machine but it seemed to mean muscle and I liked it.

No. I was not going to pay full price for the machine that was obviously used by some slovenly, dishonest pumpkin pie addict somewhere Shasta County.

I repackaged the machine and returned it to Joann’s. I came home and spent the rest of the day and evening doing my hand sewing tasks — securing thighs and knees and calves onto Chimp torsos. I fell into bed about 8 p.m. after a 13 hour work day.

I’ll check Hokemas today but will probably also check Wal Mart. It’s just a little bump in the road.

Thursday, after the Costumed Chimps are in the mail I’m going to see Whip It.

I dreamed of a spritely Brian Eno spirit last night. Nice compensation.


Cap and Yarn

Posted in constructions, cute, etsy, plush critters, projects, shopping with tags , , , , on July 16, 2009 by darcyarts

It’s cap mania here at DarcyArts.

After finishing the last three chimps in the first set of 10 I’m using my early morning hours to work on caps.

I confess I’ve had a hat jones for years. While working it out my efforts were split between pretty good and really bad.

Making the chimp mail caps is good practice.

Chimps8.9.10Thank you, Mail Chimp folks!

Here are the two styles I’m rocking right now. I think the red cap is a sort of Greek fisherman’s cap and the other is of middle eastern influence.

RedwPurpStarHatsThe lilac stars and yarn on the white cap look great.They were put on very carefully with little stitches. The yarn is a rainbow in cool colors so I had to change thread and needle for each section of color.

I’ll take proper photos when I get my head.

I’m on the hunt for a head form. I should probably make my own in my papier mache but I  must proceed with caution. An all new, papier mache project tempts me. I must resist it’s siren call until the time is right.

Discipline must be applied to avoid having too many projects  going on at once. The carousel spins, I move from horse to horse, trying to out run burnout and boredom. Gemini Rising.

Don’t change horses . . . That’s the  goal for the rest of the year. To finish one long project before I start another.

Update: I think I’ve already cheated. Chimps and Caps are overlapping. Rumor has it I have 10 more chimps to go.


But I love the caps! They are so soft and warm and cute. I am hoping to swaddle hipster heads in them this fall. They will be available in the DarcyArts shop in September.

Ideas for decoration are brimming in my imagination. My notebook is stuffed full of drawings, notes, directions.

Look upon the mountain of yarn I bought at the last Discovery Shop craft goods sale.

YarnPileBI went for the warm colors.

This yarn is for decorating my plushy caps. Crocheting is not my thing. I can’t sit still that long.

I’d like to build images with this stuff. I have projects in mind.

FuzzyStringI bought this bag of punch embroidery thread, too. It’s nice and fuzzy.

It is fragile though, not good for holding things together.

Jessica bought a bag of this stuff a few years back.

Here are more colors all watched over by Bryan and Brian. Dig the tiny pink cadillac.



Posted in Art, cute, etsy with tags , , , on July 1, 2009 by darcyarts

SausageManTreeI am thankful for each day’s fresh perceptions. They mingle with my ever growing catalog of concepts.

Still, for an impatient Aries, moving through time often feels like swimming through thick veggie stew. It’s a slow medium to navigate but warm and full of nutrients. I am absorbing good things.

Witness the Marie Antoinette meat tree. It caught my eye at breakfast last week.

I put it on a stick and photographed it. I mean, how could I not?

Big-eyed Lady Frog and little Godzilla are part of my living room decor. I like silly things.


If you like silly yet well rendered amusements check this out.

Artist Chet Phillips’ Etsy shop,  Chetart, is full of great prints.

Seeing as how I am neck deep in chimp mobilization this one is my favorite:

I am happy to say I finally purchased the Chimpmotized print this week.

Here is the Chetart alterna site.

Chetart has everything from the silly to the sublime.

There are so many really great images there. Go Look!

Up for Quiet

Posted in esoterica, plush critters, projects with tags , , , on June 28, 2009 by darcyarts

Sometimes the urge to get and greet the dawn is irresistible. It’s more so in hot weather. It’s dark, cool and quiet.

Things seem to occupy that inbetween realm when the light is low. I like that place. Dusk is good, too.

6.28.09Early 006I enjoy the gentle light in my workspace at 5:30 a.m.

I can wake up slowly. I’ll probably need a nap later. Maybe I’ll even take a lazy day though I am so loathe to lose time.

6.28.09Early 001This impatience with the dwindling days (age) allotted to me was ratcheted ever tighter after watching the Farrah Fawcett cancer docu that was replayed this weekend. It  followed the super heaping helping of celebrity deaths.

Sky Saxon, Farrah Fawcett, Ed MacMahon and Michael Jackson were not personal acquaintances but I, like many others, measure out my time, in part, accompanied by their splash upon  life’s big screen. Celebrities can be external markers of our place on the time scale.

They were young when we were young. We move along in time and see them go through changes, fall, fail or prosper and succeed. Their foibles and bumps in the road call attention to our own.

When their journey stops we feel the inevitability of our own cessation.

Frank and I  lost a trio of dear ones in 2004. I think that was the year. I can’t keep a firm grip on dates.

It was harsh. The death of my Volkswagon van was sandwiched inbetween two incidents that took young, healthy friends over to the other side. Bless them and them, us.



Back in my groove I’m trying to beat the clock. It’s hard to stop myself. I love working.

I wasn’t really alone this morning as enjoyed the quiet.


The winner of our make-me-a-chimp-model contest kept me company.

This particular chimp looks really relaxed in a hat. When his eyebrows are revealed he looks a little , umm, concerned, a little bothered?

HipChimpBrowAThis Chimp project is very fulfilling. I am single-handedly creating a Chimp Army and the chimp train is really flowing. Dan Kurzius co-founder of Mail Chimp rocks and is the great conducter of that train.

The Chimp Army is not to be confused with the Kiss Army.

I  have recently gazed upon Ron English’s Kiss Pix maybe I’ll think about adding that to my ouvre for my own amusement.

While waiting for a grandchild to fill this little rocking chair, the hip chimp can sit a spell.


Lazy Days. That’s what I have now, in this new lifestyle, instead of that corporate thing know as “personal time”. All my time is personal time, motie. Lazy Days, though rare and difficult to really chill for, are my choice. I say when and how.

Chimp 6, 7, 8

Posted in Art, constructions, cute, plush critters, shopping with tags , , , , on June 20, 2009 by darcyarts

I was very good this week. Got three chimp bodies and heads united.

chimps678 003I really enjoy doing the details on the face. It’s relaxing and always fun to see how each stitch changes that particular face ever so slightly.

My goal was to have these three finished by Monday but a fabulous interruption may occur today. Daughter Jessica is traveling north from San Francisco. YEA!

JessnDavidThis is a dreamy photo of her on the streets of SF. I believe this shot has captured her at the gate to her house in the Excelsior neighborhood.

She was reading the new David Crosby biography. She finds all kinds of goodies in the shops.

We may go thrift shopping today!

She’s especially good at hooking up with cool furniture.

Check out the living area of her abode.

One of Jessica’s  finds was especially haunting. A painting, done in 1971, of a woman that looks amazingly like an old friend of mine.

SFBobbyPaintingABobby was someone I came to know, by strange circumstance,  in my 16th year.    She was a shining light, despite her attraction to substances, an adventurer, a Sagittarius, a philosopher and seeker.

Even though others have told Jessica the painting looks like someone they know. This is Bobby in every way.

Jessica gifted me with this smashing supa 70s creation.

Remember those stretchy zig zag design shirts? In the painting, you can see a bit of it’s collar in pink and maroon. The earring is perfect, too.

It appears to be a drawing that the artist affixed to a piece of wood (it’s nice and light). He then painted the piece and covered it with a lacquer or Mod Podge-type substance. I think he might have burned the edges first with one of the wood/ gourd roasting devices.

Memories. Kisses dear ones, where ever you are.

I made a lovely pink girly squid yesterday for  groovy Etsy shopper,  pinktoyballoon, in Albany, New York.

I should have taken a picture of her. She was a bit different than the squidopus shown here. I used brighter pink thread visible on the outer stitching and gave her heart eyes like my mini catnip squid.

Now, off to do a little work on the chimps until Jess arrives.

Chimp Life

Posted in Art, plush critters, projects with tags , , on June 11, 2009 by darcyarts

Pictures 004Pictures 005

Handcrafting the small details on the coming chimp squad — hands, thumbs, toes, jaws, eye masks, bellies, heads, legs arms — is all very captivating.

Pictures 014I’ve been working,  assembling all the parts,  and then I will unite them. That’s the best part. Watching them become the unique and tenderly rendered creatures they are meant to be.

Each chimp I’ve made demands to be his own self. It’s amazing.

I am not a machine and, that being the case, they are full of quirky characteristics. I’ve pulled them from my imagination into 3-D.

Sometimes I need to find a better way to make a particular part. there have been many tweeks and adjustments as I labor.

While wrestling with a chimp thigh last week I swore (literally) that there must be a better method. I needed longer needles. I took a cooling-off break and went around the corner to JoAnn’s to find them.

Doll Needles!! They rock. They can be stuck into one side of a fat little thigh and come out the other side easily, smoothly. This saves me a whole lot of wasted effort and pains in the wrist.

DollNeedlesIn this photo you can see the tops of the longest needles shining in the light. I love them.

If your grandfathers and great-grandfathers were born in the time of handcrafting — carpentry, cabinet making, motor repair, tool and die — you know that a person has to have the right tool for the job.

Doll needles were made to enable me to do my chimp making. Isn’t that great?

ChimpMouthsI have a deep appreciation and respect for tools. I bet chimps do, too.

The stick down the ant hole works very well. The chimp sticks it in. The ants crawl up. The chimp pulls it out and licks the ants off. Yumm. Protein Popsicle.

Put “chimp tools” into Google. You’ll be amazed.

Pictures 001

I’m not sure how many chimps I can house. They’ll be occupying all the chairs, the couches, the stools.

When we try to get a spot in front of the computer we’ll have to wait until the chimp leaves.

They are very curious.

If only I could train them to do research.

I could line them up in the back seat of the car. Making sure they are safety belted, I can cruise town with chimp quads. We will blow minds.

Dreaming of Winter Caps

Posted in gardening, nature, plush critters with tags , , , on June 5, 2009 by darcyarts

Ah, a lovely gray day in June. Redding, CA? It’s true.

HydrangeawRaindropsCan you see the raindrops on the petals of the hydrangea?

What a lovely site in June.


The garden is growing. We’ve had lots of lettuce. The tomatoes, dozens of them, are just about to turn red.

Bruschetta, fresh tomato and spinach prima vera topping for macaroni, sweet ol’ tomato sandwiches.

There are little green chilies, and the first cucumber. Tra la!

We got them going early enough this year.

The Chimp train is chugging along.


Took a little break, mid-chimp cap, yesterday to try a cap of my own. It gave me lots of ideas for the crop of caps/hats I have planned for winter ’09.

CapPrototypeswEmbroideredGnomeI’ve got the basics down and am on to imagining striking embellishments.

Maybe Coco Channel will visit me in my dreams.