Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Life gets in the way some more...

Not to get all Jerry Springer on you all, but my life has been struck by a drama streak as of late. Oh by the way, this drama streak is quite an unwelcome visitor.

Close to eight years ago the five year long process of divorcing my first husband ceased. And let me tell you all, I spent a lot of money and pretty much came out of the whole nightmare with half my sanity and the clothes on my back. In short, sucked to be me.

Be that as it may I have since recovered and rebuilt my life out of the ashes of what was lost. No small task. Not without it's obstacles to be sure. However, I endured and I can proudly say, prevailed. I am my own woman with a new husband, fruitful career, a great condo in a cool hood and a fantastic relationship with my daughter despite all of the adversity the two of us have had to endure from my former spouse. So as you can imagine, the absolute last thing on this here planet that I or my child want to undertake at this time is to revisit that period of strife that sought only to drive a wedge between mother and daughter. Unfortunately, we are having to do just that.

I feel as if I've gone back into time. My stomach is queasy. I don't sleep. I can feel my heart beating fervently inside my chest. My daughter's face a reflection of similar symptoms. Needless to say, sucks to be us.

At any rate, I am hoping that this very unwelcome drama will not linger. I am praying that we Linoleum's come away from this newest chapter of a very old and tattered novel unscathed. If you will, please keep us in your prayers and positive thoughts. A bit of good energy from the blogosphere would do us a great service.

Regularly scheduled craftiness will resume soon...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Life gets in the way...

So sorry for my absence during the past week. I have some family issues that need attending to. As I try to keep this blog focused on the crafty and sans the crappy, I will spare you the gory details. However, tomorrow should bring some answers, if not resolution to my current turmoil. I will share more when I know more...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Crabius Minimus - New Pattern Available!

I know. I KNOW!

I take forever to release new patterns on my site/blog. Anyway, that being said I finally finished pattern testing the crab. Remember him? So, for your crocheting pleasure, you may now purchase the pattern on my sidebar. And here's the best part...


You can make two sizes of crab! Yes, two sizes just by simply crocheting with a different weight yarn! Yep, fingering yarn allows you to make this guy...

While worsted weight gives you maximum crabbage...

Pretty cool eh?

So, what are you waiting for? It's time to git yer crab on!!

To All Applicants:

If you answered my Help Wanted post, please be patient! I received WAY more applicants than I ever thought possible. I need to go through all of them thoroughly. Nonetheless, you should hear something from me within the next few weeks. Huge thanks to everyone who applied!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Corsetry 101

So, my hook and I took a stab at crocheting an undergarment (or outergarment depending upon my mood) that has been on my "to design" list for some time. I give you the first and definitely not the last iteration of the under bust corset!

The front...

And the back...

Now let me tell you all that I haven't taken my measurements for over a month and clearly, I need to break out my handy tape measure because this waist-cincher is less cinch and more wade. Yeah, the finished garment is about three inches too wide. I mean, I know my body is changing due to my exercise program, but jeez, who knew???

Anyway, I stepped on the footpath to designing this item with a purchase. Yep, I bought a sewing pattern containing several corset styles. Having never made a corset before, I needed a reference to work from. Hell, even Lily Chin does this (as she explained to us in class). So, if the process is good enough for her, then it is good enough for me.

Sewing pattern pieces separated, hook and yarn at the ready, I started working on panels for a corset that I was sure would fit 'round my middle. Oh well, it was an excellent exercise despite the bad fit. I now know that for my next corset I need to use a yarn with little to no elasticity (think cotton) and that I need to keep my tape measure handy. Once I have one of these diddies the way I like it, I can embellish it, design it in a range of sizes so that the rest of you can make one if you so choose and take the entire undergarment extraordinaire to the next level (think over bust). Oh, and I really want to work this pattern up using Tunisian crochet once I've perfected the single crochet version. Hell, I may even invest in some boning...

However, before I get too deep into the process I know I need to downsize first and foremost and I am definitely okay with that! I'm going for something more like this...

Next stop Corsetry 201!

Copyright 2007 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Creative Limits (or Horizons)

Found this meme on Sally's blog. If you'd like to participate please do, for I choose not to tag anyone.

1. I have no interest in the following activities:
Scrapbooking; stamping; altered and embellished clothing and accessories (however, I wouldn't turn down a Bedazzler if given one as a gift); jewelry making; glass making or glass blowing(although I love this guy's work); basketry (again love it, appreciate it, just don't want to do it); horticulture; ice sculpture; video game design; record album crafts; candle making; soap making.

2. Would love to try these things:
Pottery/ceramics; crewel embroidery; spinning; wood carving with a chain saw (really, I WOULD!); make an entire chain mail garment; metalsmithing; photography (black and white); egg tempera painting; hairpin lace; tatting; leather craft; marquetry; vinification (only after learning how to carve a bear out of a tree trunk with my chainsaw...a girl's got priorities); screenwriting; tattooing.

3. I do or have dabbled in these things:
Porcelain dollmaking; weaving (floor loom mostly); sewing; embroidery; silk screen printing; needle felting; boiled wool feltmaking; dyeing; needlepoint; latch hook; tole painting (hey, it was the 70's and I was a kid!); woodworking (in a shop); woodturning; welding; mold making; additive and subtractive sculptural processes; lost wax casting; installation sculpture; 3D design; painting (acrylic, oil, watercolor, gouache); drawing; origami; 2D and graphic design; digitial imaging; bookmaking; papermaking; cooking.

4. Love it! These are my things:
Crocheting; knitting; clothing and accessory design; making dolls and puppets; writing.

Wow, number 4 seems a little sparse. What can I say? I. Love. Yarn.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Lost in Conflagration

No, not really.

However, well over a year ago I began a handmade book with said title and in an effort to tackle my WIPs, crochet, knit and otherwise, I unearthed the box from the closet containing this little art piece with the hopes that I could actually attempt to work on it again.

Beginning at the beginning, I came up with the idea for this book after making this Chinese dragon inspired puppet from my felt scraps...

I sewed this guy entirely by hand and, oh, embellished him with a bit of embroidery too.

After finishing the dragon I thought I would create a cast of characters to accompany him. Having always been a fan of shadow puppet theater I assembled a small army of these guys...

I figured the dragon would benefit from having a few friends into the martial arts. I even embellished each of these flat guys with a bit of thread...

After having made of these puppets I thought it might be cool to detail these characters' adventures in an artist book. So, I busted out my paint, brushes, plethora of collage materials and got started. Thus far, I've only completed two pages.

For page one I painted an acrylic likeness of my dragon and placed him atop a composition made up of more paint and collaged ephemera (including my LadyLinoleum avatar, which by the way is a Photoshopped pic of me when my coif was much shorter).

In addition to paint and collage, I also utilized sewing as an element on this page. I really like sewn paper for it is a reminder to me of book-making processes past. In addition, I attached the painted dragon's head to his painted body with a small brad (see the center of his mouth) further alluding to his puppet origins.

My head on a spike...

Page two consists of more paint, collage and more Photoshoppery...

I began painting the ground for page three this morning. I don't know what's in store for the rest of this tome, but I can tell you that I'm enjoying the process of working with these materials, and anyway, I need to give my hands a rest from holding hooks and needles.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Copyright 2007 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Help Wanted

So, yeah, I need help...

I am looking for an individual to help me pattern test and do contract work for me. My ideal candidate would be someone who can both crochet and knit (although I am willing to work with two separate "experts"), be willing to drop whatever they are currently working on to take on assignments from me and turn them around quickly, must be detail-oriented, self-motivated and understand or at least be open to my slightly twisted design vision.

In return, this individual(s) will receive monetary compensation for completed projects (amount to be determined on a project by project basis), copies of all the patterns worked on and a general feeling of fulfillment as you will be my design apprentice. LOL Seriously though, it is my goal to eventually build a design team.

If you are interested and feel that you have the skills, vision and ability to deal with a very detail-oriented boss, then I'd love to hear from you! Send me an email letting me know why you feel you are right for the job and your contact information. Please put "Monster Crochet Apprentice Application" in the title of your email.

Thanks in advance to anyone who applies!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pooch Apparel, Honorary Mention and Setting Sail

Betcha didn't know that I could design garb for the furry beings of the planet too, eh?

Well, I can! Although I had to use my cat as a model (as I lack canine energy at my pad) and well, Poo Poo Kitty is NOT the most cooperative of subjects, let me tell you. Anyway, the pattern is available for public consumption in the September/October issue of Crochet Today magazine.

Also, some of my pork strippage can be viewed in the curio section of latest issue of Craft magazine.

Very exciting!

Finally, I just sold this...

Kinda sorry to see it go, but very excited to see it enrich someone else's piratical existence.

Monday, August 06, 2007


I told myself at the onset of the weekend that I was going to take it easy. No appointments, no events, no gatherings, absolutely no scheduled stuff requiring me to dress up, apply lipstick and turn on my public self. Nope, this weekend was about ease...

Saturday morning I lounged around, reading, doing a little leisurely cleaning, nagging the girl to pry her ear from the phone and attend to her personal hygiene. At around 2:00 pm I slipped into my yoga gear, grabbed the newly primped offspring and literally drove around the block (so LA) to meet my other girl for a little creative retail therapy at Dick Blick on Santa Monica. Really, I didn't need anything there. I just wanted to hang with Bri and Lena. Needless to say I left the store $140 poorer (so me).

Shopping completed, I was set to join Bri at her yoga/spinning studio of choice to give them a test run. (Lena opted to go back home and rekindle her phone love.) Don't get me wrong, my trainer is awesome. I love the dude, but I only date him twice a week so I needed to pick up another yoga class here and there in between our scheduled meetings. Knowing this, Bri suggested I join her at her at YAS, assuring me that I would love the studio. Turns out that she was absolutely correct.

We dropped into the 4:30 level 1-2 class, led by Tony (so cute), immediately following the completion of our Blick run. Let me tell you, that guy worked us hard. In fact, I was sweating so much that my hands began to slip n' slide all over my mat. I actually had to stop and let my digits dry out. Oh yeah, that evening? I purchased one of these in an effort to assuage future slippage. I also purchased a 10-class pass. Yep, I committed to making YAS part of my weekend going forward right then and there. Hell, I might even pick up a spinning class during the week. You never know...

After class Bri and I walked down Abbot Kinney to a local Mexican eatery. Nothing like putting it back on minutes after taking it off. Hey, I had a big plate of lettuce! Okay, topped with beans, cheese, carne asada and guacamole, but who's paying attention to that? Anyway, completely sweaty, stuffing our faces at one of the restaurants outside tables (so not pretty), and who decides to ride by on his bike? Yeah, that would be Vince Vaughn. Whatever. Like he was paying attention to us anyway.

Stuffed, muscles aches starting to set in, Bri and I parted ways. Upon returning home, I noticed that the hubby had already passed out for the evening. Big partier that guy is! Jeesh. Anyway, LenaLinoleum and I decided make it a girl's night and break out all of our new creative wares for a little experimentation session. Armed with brand spanking new paints and pads of watercolor paper, the mother and child played.

Lena's pretty landscape (so lovin' those pink fluffy clouds)...

LadyLinoleum's organic abstract-o-rama (so not afraid to show my bad painting to the world)...

Definitely, not a bad way to relax the day away!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sizzlin' Freeform

While in New Hampshire gittin' my crochet (and knit) on, I decided to take a freeform knitting class. Actually, I decided to take the class at the time of registration, months before the actual onset of the conference.

This decision deserves a little background. Now, if you haven't figured this out about my work yet dear readers, the stuff I conjure up is not exactly freeform-friendly. Okay, yes, it's free in conceptual form, but when it comes to the actual execution of the work, my crazy junk is anything but freeform. First and foremost, I write EVERYTHING down. I mean this when I say it. Every. Single. Detail. Is documented. I also regularly use Excel to mock up virtual garments and to model my garment measurement specifications before I knit or crochet anything. Oh, and I always, ALWAYS swatch.

So yeah, freeform? Ah, no.

Also, before I go any further I must also disclose the fact that I'm generally not a big fan of the projects I've seen produced by using freeform techniques, although I do like her work quite a bit. However, much of what I see just doesn't appeal to my aesthetic. If it's your thing though, I heartily encourage you to continue scrumbling away. Passion is a very individual thing after all.

So, despite my freaky control issues and my "ordered" aesthetic, I also happen to be a big process junkie, another factoid I repeat endlessly on this here green bloggidy, blog, blog. Process junkie girl, devious to the core, decided to give my inner anal retentive designer the slip, throw caution to the wind and signed me up for Colleen Davis' Embellishments class at the Knit and Crochet Show.

Armed with loads of leftover yarn or just stuff I bought while apparently suffering from a distinct loss of good taste (yes, we all know taste is a VERY relative thing with me) and my beloved Denise needles (really, I love these...use them constantly) I was prepared to freeform away! Seriously, upon stepping foot into the classroom I was scrumbling with Ms. Davis at a pace that made my head spin.

Within an hour and some change I had completed a hairy flower...

A hairy planet-like thingamabob...

A hairy rainbow...

And a purty green leaf edged in crocheted crab stitch (love that)...

I had fun!

Okay, I wouldn't dare use any of the hairy motifs I made for anything other than fond reflections of a scrumbling experience well done, but I did come away from the class with a distinct feeling that I would eventually break free of my anal retentive fundamentals and work plan-free.

Enter, LadyLinoleum's version of freeform...

That 70's Bacon

Yep, that'd be freeform pork strip-age!

Freeform pork strip-age crocheted using a teeny tiny little hook and beautifully shiny DMC perle cotton thread.

Mmmmm...Microwave Bacon

By Joe I think she's got it!

Barbie Dream House Breakfast Strip

No pattern.


No real plan.

SizzleLean: The Sequel

And no publishing deadline!

Wooo Hoo!

Just you wait and see what I'll be scrumbling next...