Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Feels like I'm living a dream.
Okay, let me qualify that last statement.
Feels like I'm living a dream when I stroll into a nearby bookseller and spot my patterns amidst the pages of the books and mags atop their shelves. That, my friends, definitely floats my boat. However, the dream tends to fade a little when I'm up 'til 2:00 am on a cube farm eve, eyeballs dry and barely functioning, hands fraught with pain, deadline looming, tendrils of yarn wrapping around my ankles feigning shackles, preventing me from crawling into bed.
Yeah, not so dreamy.
Nonetheless, I consider myself touched by lady luck, for I know that there are many individuals out there with talents far greater than my own who, for whatever reason, cannot seem to catch a break. So, despite the aching digits and the heart-pumping pace, I intend to ride this thing out.
Now, if I could just get my hand(s) on some Aleve...
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Now for my irregularly scheduled post...
Lark Books so kindly returned my Mixed Grill Place Mats and collateral assorted appliques to me after having photographed them for Kooky Crochet. I was delighted to see my wares upon unearthing them from the box because, well, I wasn't expecting to ever see them again. You see, publishers usually keep the FO(s) a designer sends them (at least this is what I've gleaned from my limited experience with this industry). Makes sense. After all, they usually pay for the yarn and give the designer a fee, so the item(s) made are technically their property.
However, the Lark project was a bit different in that I paid for my materials, which pretty much amounted to my entire fee for the assignment. I didn't mind though. This was my first foray into the crafty publishing world so I was in it more for the exposure than the fee. Nonetheless, it was good to hug my place mats again upon our reunion. Yes, I hugged the grills. Hey, they're soft and they don't talk back! Okay, I have issues. Whatever.
Anyway, I had almost forgotten about the assorted appliques I made to accompany this project (Lark used them as props in the overall layout). So, after having put the place mats to rest in their drawer, I placed the appliques atop my small pile of WIPs for further study. Eventually, my grilled yarn buddies would be reborn! It is very Frankensteinian over here...
Meanwhile, time marched on...
And marched some more...
Then the other day I was taking a stroll past my WIP pile and I distinctly heard the calling of the meat. I'm not sure, but I think the crocheted flesh said, "Felt us." So, I did.
And a cheeseburger...
I kinda like the result. So much so that I believe these felted fleshy buddies should definitely adorn an old denim jacket I have lurking in my closet.
Voila! If this ain't a perfect example of what's old is new again, then I don't know what is!
Copyright 2007 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Yeah, not so good.
My right hand is crying out in pain, which is terrible because I have three crochet projects due to publishers soon AND I start teaching crochet classes next weekend. Sucks.
However, looking at this brightens my day...
Too bad I cannot massage my hand with the pages of a book.
Hope all is well with everyone! More later...
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
In the beginning we planned to be "girl's night out" type of group, originally meeting to merely eat, drink and make merriment without the men folk. Our mission was to see one another regularly (we all met here doing the MFA shuffle) and not just our usual infrequent group get-togethers such as weddings, baby showers and gallery openings. We needed some serious chick-time, sans the testosterone-based lifeforms, so that we could continue to keep our connections to one another sound (at that point are collective friendship was 8 years strong). So, we met at artzoo's abode on a Thursday night in Pasadena (no small task for this Westsider to traverse across town at rush hour) to begin our fun-fest. Our evening concluded with me volunteering to host the next shindig for we all had a delightful time.
As time drew near to my stint as the hostess with the mostess, I began to think of ways to "enhance" our collective experience. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am a very content party girl most of the time, but this group o' chicks is comprised of serious mega-talent. I felt like we needed to get back to our roots and leave the mortgage rates/pregnancy updates/general life banter discussions at the fray and get down to making stuff again. Around this time I had also been reading this book, which became the basis for my evil plan: make art dolls in an exquisite corpse/round robin fashion with my creative chickadee posse. So, I sent out an email polling the group's interest in such an endeavor. I was met with responses from, "Heck yeah!" to, "No way do I have time to invest in such an activity." However, the yeahs outweighed the middle fingers so everyone was set to show up at my door with a dish to share and their "doll starter".
A gaggle of art chicks enjoying their liquid snacks in the sun.
"Hey Doll!" took us two years to complete and we exhibited the work in two gallery shows to rave reviews (see my sidebar under "Hey Doll!" to see the pieces). It was an awesome experience. So much so that we decided to keep going with our creative collaboration. However, a few of our peeps decided that this experience was too much work for them and they respectfully decided to take a pass on the next project. The exodus minimus made way for a few new faces as our collaborative team began Project Numero Dos: Games!
A triple boarder!
Yes, we are attempting to make games. Board games, Carney games, games of memory, strategy, risk and games of prophecy. Thems just the tip of the old iceberg too! There are so many more game styles we are attempting to emulate. In addition, we had two rules we've tried to adhere to upon embarking on this journey: (i) everyone must work on every game and (ii) upon completion of the entire project, the game must be playable.
Um yeah, making games is hard!
Okay, I'm whining. Whatever.
Seriously though, had I known at the time of choosing such a project just how damn difficult this endeavor would be, I'd have pushed for a different concept. Trust me, this project is a tough-y. However, despite the degree of difficulty no one has thrown in the towel and split. In fact, two of our members travel from San Diego and one from San Francisco to participate in our meetings! How cool is that?
Anyway, almost two years into this project and we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Most of us have taken a crack at all but two or three of the games (There are 12 in total). One of our members has completed work on all of the games. Pretty soon we head into editorial mode in order to make sure that (i) the games are in fact playable and (ii) they are gallery ready.
The Vegetable Liberation Army has got game!
I often ask myself what I am learning from one experience or another. When it comes to this collaborative fandango, that is now in its fourth year (unbelievable), there is much wisdom that I've gained!
- My artistic path has traditionally been one of a solitary nature. Working collaboratively has taught me that it is okay to relinquish creative control, expect the unexpected and that there is a supreme amount of energy generated by 24 hands, 12 hearts and 12 minds creating one work of art.
- My daughter has participated in both of these projects, working with us since the inception of our rag-tag band of makers. Working with her in this group is an experience I shall always cherish as I hope she will too when she is old enough to reflect on how special the it is/was.
- If a witch has a scooter, she probably doesn't need a broom (inside joke).
- I have learned that groups of people tend to fall into a natural rhythm when working together.
- I have learned that I can imbibe copious amounts of wine and still produce a relatively coherent critique of the work in front of me.
- Trunk size matters! When purchasing my new vehicle in December of last year I made sure the cargo space of my dream machine would accommodate the size of our projects.
- This experience has confirmed for me that I am blessed with a group of female friends who I consider to be nothing less than my sisters.
- I have learned that when contemplating a creative obstacle/conundrum, I almost always find a way to solve the puzzle.
- I already believed this, but this experience has transformed my belief into dogma: hot glue guns are the devil's spawn and must be destroyed!
- Six chicks in two hotel rooms for a game meeting/weekend in San Diego is definitely a good time!
A view from our hotel room in SD last weekend.
Like the title of this post states, collaboration rules!
Thursday, June 07, 2007
After shipping it off to Crochet Today I began a larger version for myself using a cotton I fancy...
Then I thought I'd really like to do a knitted version...
However, the intarsia ends from the color work drove me nuts. So, I opted to tackle a fair isle version.
Only two balls of yarn to deal with for the color work (similar to the crocheted versions) and therefore few ends to weave in. HEAVEN!
My favorite part of this design, whether it be crocheted or knitted, is the way the sleeves are constructed. Short rows! The sleeves are built from the middle out so that the finished pieces are somewhat almond shaped.
Anyway, I'll be taking both versions of this skully shell with me this weekend to San Diego for my art girl collaborative meeting(s). Cotton sweaters travel perfectly!
Oh, and definitely more sweater designs to come...
Copyright 2007 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Go to Google and write "your name looks like" and pick the best result from the first page to post.
Here are my top two from the list that came up:
Regina looks like a “some isolated backwater”...
Regina looks like a slightly less attractive Olsen twin...
Here are the rules: Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.
It seems as though I've completed this exercise before. Anyhoo, here goes...
I have a compulsive streak when it comes to my craft. If I begin crocheting or knitting on a weekend morning, I will do little else the rest of that day. This means I will forego eating, tidying up around the house, showering, etc. Literally everything else is tabled for the day.
I am a reluctant participant in my fitness program. If my trainer dude didn't show up at my front door, I would not remove my arse from my chair long enough to complete one sit up. Okay, I love it when I'm involved in my work out. Really I do! However, I do not have enough discipline to attempt said regimen on my own.
I am a travel junkie. No location is too far or too remote to visit in my humble opinion. This year the hubby and I are traveling to New Zealand again as well as making a stop in Australia. Next year we will be traveling to Mongolia. Yes, MONGOLIA, where I will be in pursuit of the perfect hank of yak yarn. I believe yak snacks will also be involved. Hey, you only live once. Make it count.
My favorite weekend morning activity (if I haven't succumbed to the knit/crochet compulsion that is) consists of a cup of coffee while reading the current novel I'm immersed in. Nothing like starting the day with a few chapters!
I've said this before and I'll say it again, I'm a HUGE sci fi/fantasy geek. I just love this genre and it's a love that began when I was a wee Linoleum sitting in front of the tube watching oldies but goodies such as Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica (the Lorne Green version), and I'm not ashamed to admit it, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I still watch this kind of stuff on television. I go to the cinema to see it. I also read novels of this genre. Put a spaceship or a wizard in a piece of media and I'm there. And yes, I will be recording Ice Spiders on Saturday night just in case you were wondering.
I'm a registered Democrat married to a registered Republican. Needless to say, election time is very interesting at my house.
I seriously miss salami. Yep, you heard me. I cannot eat those cured roles of pork and fat because of the sodium content and general non-healthy attributes, but man, do I miss it! I also miss prosciutto. This place haunts my dreams...
I will NOT be tagging anyone in particular as is my way, but do encourage you all to participate if the mood arises.