Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Support the Troops

Killer Korn here. For those of you unfamiliar with me, I am the leader of the Vegetable Liberation Army or VLA for short. I come to you today on behalf of my VLA brethren to ask you for your assistance. As you may or may not know, our valiant band of stems, leaves, roots and seedpods have been the sole defenders of a produce population subjugated and terrorized, mutilated and sacrificed, boiled and roasted, seared and barbecued, flayed, fried, blanched and marinated, often cruelly bathed in a molten hot sea of phlegmatic Velveeta hell, our only purpose in life to be gorged and consumed by those titans of tyranny otherwise known as humans. Radicalized and becoming legitimized, our plight is being seen, heard and felt by not only our brethren, but those not of our ilk who share a common vision of a produce population living a life devoid of fear, chopped salads and human incisors. We are proud to be produce and we're here to stay. (See VLA Manifesto for more information.)

Waging armed insurrection is not only dangerous, but time-consuming and expensive as well. It takes gainfully employed veggies and a swollen war chest to fight human tyranny. In both situations, we VLA combatants find ourselves severely lacking. For example, there aren't many options in today's job market for an average ear of corn such as myself, unless you call jumping into a vat of boiling water, being swathed in cheap margarine and served up on a Dixie plate at your local county fair a viable option. Not only is the compensation meager for this career path, but it is difficult to collect a paycheck from the bottom of a filthy trashcan, kernels violently torn from your cob, in seething pain, dying a slow and tortured death. Oh, I've applied for less dangerous positions, but to no avail. Recently, I attempted to get a job at the local movie theater, desperate to collect a wage that didn't involve being fodder for the human palate, only to be turned away by the manager saying that theater-goers would be less likely to purchase an extra-large bucket of popcorn from its progenitor. And so it goes for the unemployed produce combatant.

So, we come to you today with our plea for help. However, we are not so crass that we ask you to open your pocketbooks to us. Poor sprouts yet proud sprouts, we ask you to open your hearts, your minds and your collective creative vision instead. Recently, the VLA has had the good fortune to acquire a stealth hideout that serves as both high tech nerve center and barracks, but to our dismay we lack both the high tech and the beds, among other items, to make this black ops planning facility a true nerve center and home. We are industrious fibrous beings, but are currently operating at less than maximum capacity and as a result are unable take our vision of fruit and vegetable freedom and liberty worldwide without your help.

We need basic staples and rations to survive, thrive and continue with our plans of world-wide domination, um, err, I mean freedom-fighting. For example, we VLA comrades currently must sleep in shifts due to the fact that we only have two sleeping bags. Yes, just two! The result of which is one-half of our group suffering from exhaustion at all times. How can we be expected to take our campaign world-wide while searching desperately for lattes? There's more. We need blankets and benches, cutlery and chairs, Gatorade and Top Ramen, oh, and mugs for beer. We veggies love handcrafted items and would welcome any DIY articles you can dream up to help make our Spartan environment truly cozy (in fact, a hideout cozy would be a very smart item indeed for a vegetable commando to possess). Make your donation now. Please, don't delay. The life that you save may be your neighborhood white bean from a cassoulet.

Each generous donor will receive a thank you gift in the form of an autographed VLA trading card (donor's choice of character), a credit on our homepage and a chance for your handcrafted item to co-star in our upcoming comic book series for which we will also give you credit! Think of yourself not just a mere generous donor, but a collaborator, or even better, a co-conspirator! We are very excited about this future partnership!

So please, take some time to peruse the list of needed items below and when ready to make your donation:
  1. email our sponsor, LadyLinoleum, with the type of item you will be donating;
  2. any information about your item that you think might be of significance to note on the memorial page;
  3. a pic of yourself (optional);
  4. your VLA trading card choice; and
  5. your address so that we may send you your trading card.

LadyLino is kind enough to assist us with our pledge drive for she is the one human we actually consider to have the heart of a vegetable. Are there more of you veggie-hearted humans out there? Please let us know by answering our plea with a veggie-size donation. Thank you.

Wish List

- Blankets (mini afghans would be much appreciated)

- Bed Linens

- Table Linens (we are civilized veggies you know)

- Foodstuffs (Creepy Cebolla says send Funyuns!)

- Kitchen and Bath Items (no salad shooters please)

- Furniture (any kind, right now our decorating style could be coined "Early Picnic Basket")

- High Tech Gear (computers, DVD player, mp3 players, a television, cell phones, palm pilots)

- Wearables (hats, coats, t's, belts, suspenders, etc.)

- Combat Gear (for black ops)

- Seed Packet Holder ( a Carnivorous Carrots special request)

- Transportation (bus passes would work too)

- Anything Else You Think We Need...

And now a word from our Sponsor, LadyLinoleum: So fellow VLA supporters, if you are interested in participating, please feel free. If not, I still love you! I know everyone has busy lives and lots of stuff to do. However, I would love to add some amazing crafty items into the mix that were created by somebody other than myself. I will give you credit both on the homepage (I plan on making a donor memorial page) and in the future comic book. I am all about giving credit where credit is due. Oh, and you will receive a trading card. Anyway, like the Korn said, if you'd like to participate email me! And remember all items should be VEGETABLE SIZE, meaning pretty darn small.

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Holy Frijole (Ho-lee Free-ho-lee)

I originally set out to crochet a legume, specifically a Mexican Jumping Bean, figuring he could be a sidekick for El Churro and I hadn't yet created a creature from the bean family yet. A Mexican Jumping Bean would definitely satisfy my creative conundrum.

Enter the small but endearing Pepito:

I crocheted him up yesterday while visiting my mother using an Artfabrik thread called burnt marshmallows that worked perfectly for his dried out pinto-bean complexion (think burnt refried beans stuck to the bottom of the pan). While driving home from my visit my mind began to ponder the possibilities of this small bean being. Maybe he has a different destiny than just that of a "sidekick". Maybe he is something much more extraordinary. I immediately began to play with language trying to find an alliteration I liked. I kept coming back to Holy Frijole. But if I use Holy Frijole this changes the whole nature of the bean's direction. A completely different direction, I might add, from any that I could have originally conceived.

Please welcome the transformed bean, His Holiness, Padre Pepito:

With all of the problems the Catholic Church has encountered in recent years, the church leadership have welcomed this upstanding jumping bean with open arms. Afterall, preaching to the Mexican legume community can only result in more parishioners AND less scandal...besides the fact that a bean is now a priest, I mean. Anyway, God loves all Earthly creatures, even the beans...

Padre Pepito's frock (more liturgical gear to come):

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Creativity in a NUTshell - Emphasis on NUT

I seem to be getting many inquiries surrounding the how and why I make what I make. This is a terribly difficult question to answer without going into a long treatise about the philosophical underpinnings of my creative process which is informed by my upbringing, education, personal aesthetic and oh, just general life-shaping experiences. So, instead of putting you in a comatose state brought about by trying to impart these not-so-juicy life details I will try to put together a Cliff Notes version of LadyLinoleum's Reflections of The Art Neurotique or how I came to crochet a Cheez-It.

It all began the 18th day of May, 1969, in my Mother's birthing chamber at West Hills Hospital, nestled in the bowels of the San Fernando Valley in sun-soaked Southern California...

Just kidding! I scared ya there for a minute huh? I know what you were thinking...OMG this is going to be the most tedious blog post to read E-VER! Well, it still might be, but we won't start at the beginning. Ha!

No, really, in simple terms, ever since I can remember I've been enmeshed in creative thought and process. When I was old enough to hold a pencil in my hand I was compelled to draw. I see my environment in terms of color, form and composition. Everything around me is surface and texture, linear and curvaceous, flat and perspective, veggies armed to their stems with dollhouse-sized weaponry...Really. For me there is nothin' better than dipping my brush in a fresh dollop of paint, feeling fiber slide between my fingers while creating a fabric of loops and knots from this glorified string or using my scissors to liberate a unique and often-times ornate object from something as mundane as 20lb. bond. I have visions of artful objects that appear in colorful three-dimensions. Characters and other errata develop their own voices, personalities, ancestry inside the walls of my mind, eventually birthed from my fingers in a fury of color, light, texture and form.

Sounds sexy, huh? Well, it is. Much of the time. What I have neglected to mention is the other side of what makes LadyLinoleum creative (the dark side) that I don't share with the rest of the world much because I might seem, for lack of a better word, craaaaa-zy. Oh yeah, pull out those prescription meds and make sure your restraints are securely fastened because here we go!

Have you ever stayed awake all night because you were excited about something or conversely bothered about something that pushed your body's need to sleep, oh say, into the next dimension? Okay, do I hear two nights? Three nights? Enter LadyLinoleum who has been known to escape the confines of that silly state called sleep for short and sometimes long periods of time much of her life. Why, do you ask? There are myriad reasons ranging from trying to figure out how to crochet the perfect (and I mean perfect) mermaid fin because you know, in nature, mermaids don't have flaws, to authoring the complete dialog of a three act puppet play that has been haunting my days as well as my nights. All the while, lack of sleep plaguing my mind and body as I go to work the following day(s), feeling utterly exhausted and something akin to a gnarly hangover without the fun of slovenly drunkenness the evening before. Excuse me Mr. Huge Boss Who Is The National Head Of $80 Million Dollar Investment Banking Practice, but I am unable to get my revenue analysis done because I was up all night obsessing about a LEMON WITH A GOGGLE. Hope that's okay...Not sounding real sexy anymore is it?

Let's delve a little deeper into the wild and wacky world of my creative process shall we? Have you ever thought, gee, that scarf or skirt or crocheted churro would look superb if made with yarn the color of ochre with a dash of umber and a pinch of crimson chased with a shot of white to give it that extra pop? No? Well, I have. And I have searched for this color yarn oh, EVERYWHERE ON THE PLANET. So, maybe I will get back into dying my own fiber as a result of this futile yarn-store reconnaissance. I can't quite remember how to use Procion dyes, but that's okay I will just have to STAY AWAKE ALL NIGHT trying desperately to remember when to add the soda or wonder whether I even need to add soda to Procion dye at all. The sex appeal of this creativity thing is really beginning to suck air, is it not?

No wait, there's more. Husband, child or animal need your attention, a little food, affection or conversation from you? Now, how the hell am I expected to have human and animal interactions while obsessively trying to work out a very important creative conundrum such as trying to figure out how to make a sufficiently gorilla-like nose for a life-size King Kong-inspired ensemble taking literally hours, days, weeks of pattern making and experimentation? Just grab some Cheetos, give yourself a hug and I will be with you shortly Oh Loving Family Who Puts Up With My Crapola No Matter What. You see, it's not that I don't want to be with my family, friends and animals. I am, unfortunately, compelled to create above all else. This compulsion/obsession/tortuous/mind-fandango/creative-anti-funfest takes over my psyche, my biology, like a virus. At times, it is very difficult for me (painful even) to switch gears while in OCD-art-making-mode. I agree. Not sexy. Not at all.

Anakin Skywalker's decent into the Dark Side? Yeah, I get that.

Any of you craving the need to make some wacky creation such as a Limon with a pink wig now? I think not.

My brilliantly bookish mother (very grounded and very tolerant) *Hi Mom* says that artists, writers and musicians walk a fine line between reality and madness. Further, she states that one who creates has to journey down said path to be visionary. I don't consider myself visionary, but crazy? Yeah, I got that down. However, I will tell you that I am much less nuts in my "pushing 40" years than when I was younger. I sleep through the night most of the time. I have the ability to put down the yarn or paint or fabric or pencil when I have other more pressing "life things" to attend to. Also, I'll buy yarn "off the shelf" (actually, truck-loads of it, yeah, I'm much better). So, I've mellowed with age, like a good wine. Oh, and drinking wine? Yeah, that helps too. Hey, I'm not boring!

Ideas like Killer Korn wielding deadly corn-holder/prong weapons? This kind of stuff just pops into my head in full living 3D color. Sometimes these ideas are fully fleshed out upon arrival into cluttered brain. Sometimes they take more time to "fully materialize". Does this stuff come to me in dreams? Well, I'd have to sleep through the night for that to happen...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Citrus Incognito

You know the Vegetable Liberation Army as a rag-tag band of veggie guerilla warriors, fearless and unstoppable! But do you know that sometimes those fearless roots, stems and leaves need help? Help in the form of an intel gathering band of citrus? Meet three shadowy citrus of legend: Limon, Lime and Lemon are Citrus Incognito!

Here's the gang before going undercover. Notice how they look like your average citrus citizens?

Here are the citrus comrades in disguise. Transformed and dangerous!

Limon in bee-you-ti-ful pink coif! Limon can seduce any man with that big sexy hair and seduction is what this citrus half-breed uses as its most effective weapon.

Lime with amazing coiling arms! Not only do Lime's arms serve to disguise him as a deceitful fruit and vegetable eating human monster, but due to their length he is able to reach virtually any object atop a high shelf. Handy! (...Um, no pun intended.)

Lemon in infrared goggle! Night vision is key when doing midnight market reconnaissance.

Big round of applause for the most stealth members of the food pyramid: Citrus Incognito!

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Holiday Creatures Poll Results

Well peeps, it's Monstrous Fruitcake for ya'll (thanks for the abbreviation corrections you Southern dwellers you!) and there is a tie for second place between Hellraiser Holiday Ham (I am so glad that I get to make a Pinhead Holiday Ham, you've no idea) and Santa Churro. So, I'll make all three, but I will undertake the Fruitcake Monster first. Jeez, you guys are as twisted as I am! LOL

Saturday, June 18, 2005

June's Month of Softies - June Bug

June's Month of Softies theme was the perfect excuse for me to crochet-up this little guy! His name is Supa' Fly and I made his wings and eyeball with size 8 perle cotton from DMC and size 8 hand-dyed Artfabrik thread. Incidentally, I've been buying Artfabrik thread for a while now and I LOVE Laura's colorways. All of her threads and fabrics are hand-dyed and the color quality is always consistent. Good stuff.

Supa' Fly's body is made with a novelty yarn that I bought while in New Orleans (I LOVE N'awlins - one of my most favorite cities in the US) about three years ago. So, I was effectively doing a little stash-busting too.

Supa' Fly taking flight:

I even embroidered a little speck of light on his eyeball to add a little "realism" (relative when it comes to my work LOL) to this one-eyed wonder:

From the side, note the sleek body style of this faux entomological gem:

From the top it almost looks like those wings could actually carry his blimp-like bod:

I plan on crocheting Supa' Fly's counterpart too...Flattened Fly! I know, I know, twisted.

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Hillbilly Knittin' is NOT just for girls!

Drew, you are the most amazing Hillbilly Knitter, bloggin' buddy and friend! I'm sorry if I implied that boys were not allowed to be HK-ers because I didn't mean to do so. Incidentally, did you know that my given name, Regina, means "foot in mouth" in Esperanto? Yes, it does.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


What is OPD you say? This particular acronym stands for Other People's Dirt. Why am I concerned with OPD you inquire? Well, my husband and I have just purchased a condo that is wall to wall OPD. I am not exaggerating. It is, in a word, repugnant.

I kid you not when I say that I walked into the place after having taken possession of the property and upon entry immediately wished I had my combat boots on (yes, I have combat boots and yes, they look quite fetching with a plaid parochial school girl type skirt - I was a teenager in the 80's, cut me some slack, people).

My second thought immediately following the need for combat ready gear was that there is no way I am putting my beautiful yarn stash in this place, the condo from Planet Pigsty! Not, jeez, I don't want my family or animals sleeping in here. Nor, no way am I putting food in this kitchen. No, I thought of my yarn (it's a sickness I know). I just cannot abide putting my precious yarnage (yes, I made that word up) in the creepy-crawlie-condo-disgusto.

Okay, did I know it was gross before purchase? Yes. However, I realized quickly while searching for a pad to purchase that most people just don't have the same standards as I do. And let me state, for the record, that I reside with many feathered and fuzzy friends, one husband and a child. Okay, I can keep my home clean and hold down a full-time job, crochet and make tons of art, build websites and blog, not to mention attend to the feathered, fuzzed and skinned creatures that inhabit our home AND I DO NOT HAVE A MAID (like the SAHM who was the former occupant). So, I'm bitter. Whatever.

However, it is not healthy to dwell on evil former condo inhabitants (who incidentally have kept the mailbox key so that they can continue to get mail there - oh the list goes on and on) so off to Stitch 'N Bitch I go this evening, located at the bee-you-ti-ful and historic Farmer's Market in West Hollywood. Seriously, I need to do some Hillybilly Knittin' and drink jugs full of moonshine (read: a nice merlot, California-style moonshine).

Do y'all think we should start a Hillbilly Knittin' webring? Or at least make a button??? Give me a shout out and let me know if this is something we indigent hook-wieldin' chicks should pursue.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I LOVE MAIL! Though I do not love my postal worker, but I've ranted about that before. So, what did the wonderful workers at my local UPS Store (yes, I actually pay UPS to house my mail because my postal worker is cuckoo) bestow upon my mailbox recently? Let's take a look:

First and foremost, a ZOMBIE SHEEP! Yes, this fabulous AND useful creation (it's a tape measure too) was created 'specially for moi by Celeste. Notice the jaundiced greenish color and yes, this sheep has bloodshot eyeballs and his little zombie tongue is hanging out! Now, how awesome is this guy??? I currently carry this little dude in my crocheting bag of tricks that accompanies me EVERYWHERE. You know, for that crocheting-on-the-fly time that happens every so often (i.e., sitting in the doctor's office waiting, waiting, waiting or working on some creation that has taken over my system like a crackhead in need of a fix so that I must take short little bathroom breaks at the office bringing my hook and yarn with me - oh yeah, it's that bad).

Next up: a beautiful crocheted choker with raku heart handcrafted by none other than Elizabeth (one of my yarn-crack dealers, oh btw). Woooohoooo!

She also sent me a little belated birthday pressie too - more yarn (read: fix)! And what beautiful yarn it 'tis too. Gorgeous burgundy chenille with gold sparkles. Awesome!

There's more: Ned and his little friend Lump handcrafted by Renee! These two little guys are wonderful and have joined the rest of my sewn, crocheted, stuffed crowd which currently inhabits the settle bench in my hallway. They seem quite at home with their new sock monkey, uglydoll, puppet buddies.

I have also purchased mass quantities (I cannot emphasize this enough) of yarn on the internets (a term I've co-opted from Crazy Aunt Purl). So much so that the guys at my local UPS store believe I need to be in a 12-step yarn addiction program. They just don't understand that us creative-types NEED stash! I just hate it when I have an idea and I am prevented from starting said idea because I don't have any variegated red size 8 DMC perle cotton. So, it's not simply that I have a yarn purchasing problem. It's the simple fact that I need to have yarn around to keep making things to fill up my Rubbermaid bins. Really, it's Rubbermaid's fault. Not mine.

More News:
  • Escrow closed today on our visual horror of a condo. Yay! And scary because we have to fix the place now. Boooooo! Anyway, I will post pics of the horrific nightmare later after I have recovered from the fact that we bought a really 'spensive fixer-upper. Real estate in Southern California is ridiculous, truly.
  • Also, I am posting the Humpty Dumpty's for sale on my website tonight. If you want one check the Aquire section.
  • I have some new creations to post in the next couple of days so look for those all of you Hillbilly Knitters you!

Fun, fun, fun!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Knitting Yarn???

Maybe I am old school or have just been hiding under a rock for the last decade, but when did yarn go beyond its mere yarn state and become "knitting yarn"? I thought that all yarn was fair game when considering ANY needlework project. And when did all of these self-avowed knitters become "unionized" anyway? Read the first couple of sentences Amazon.com uses to pitch Debbie Stoller's book Stitch'n Bitch Nation:

"Join the movement! Millions strong and counting, hip, young chicks with sticks are putting a whole new spin on knitting - while turning Stitch'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook into a surprise bestseller (The New York Times)."

Okay, I don't know about y'all, but I've been knitting, crocheting, sewing, weaving (okay I didn't learn how to weave on a loom until college, but you get the point) and needlepointing (is that a verb?) since I was 7 (that's 29 years for all of you that are dying to know how old I am). When my grandmother (Eastern European lineage) taught me how to do all of these things she didn't tell me that crocheting was not as hip as knitting and both take a backseat to sewing, or at least they did a decade ago. Not at all. Furthermore, when we went to our LYS (another term I've just recently become familiar with) we were not confronted by leagues of young, hip knitters donning Isadora Duncan length scarves knit from eyelash yarn on ginormous plastic needles!

No, we went to our local Super Yarn Mart (anyone in Los Angeles remember those stores?) whose shelves were filled with *gasp* acrylic yarn and whose isles where heavily traveled by the blue-haired contingent. I loved it there! I loved that I was a little kid in a grown-up world who was able to knit-up a mean sweater in hours, intarsia even, and that I could make enough granny squares in an hour to fill the bed of a Dodge Ram truck. Oh yeah. I was good AND I was hanging out with my Nana whom I adored. What could be better than that? No, we were never confronted by the nouveauknitter wearing a scarf knitted using several 50 yard hanks of $46 fiber (you just cannot call 50 yards of $46 anything, yarn). No, we were greeted by other blue-haireds working the register inbetween cig breaks. Aaaaaah, those were the good ole days!

Okay, now don't get me wrong. I love that all of these women's crafts have become popular. I think it's great! However, what I do find strange is the fact that knitting is supposedly more highbrow than any other type of needlework. This my friends, is bizarre.

A decade ago, any type of needlework was (i) for women, making is marginalized by association (ii) for the aged, making it further marginalized, and (iii) just not cool in our disposable culture (why make a sweater when you can buy one at Neiman's, OMG). I guarantee you that there where no freakin' message boards about any type of needlework, no myriad discussions about froggin' or your LYS and not a whole hellava lot of $46, 50 yard hanks of fiber either. There was Nana and me hanging out at our local Super Yarn Mart buying $1 skeins of brightly colored acrylic (the super huge no dyelot skeins with like 400 yards on them) and some big ole balls of size 30 crochet thread in white or ecru because that is what they had available in the good ole days.

And Nana, she was a great teacher. I was seven and my first project was a sweater with cables! Yep, cables and sure I had a few holes here and there, but I was only 7 afterall. I didn't make a scarf or a blanket, nothing flat, nothing rectangular and nothing square. Nope, I made a sweater. After that project, I asked my Nana to teach me to crochet. So what does the woman do? Yep, pulls out size 30 thread with what seemed the tiniest hook ever and she begins by teaching me how to make the tiniest chain known to woman, then launches into pineapple-doily-mode. But with patience I mastered it and she was with me every step of the way.

Like my Nana, needlework became second-nature to me. I never defined myself as knitter nor crocheter. I was able to do both interchangeably and at that time (way back when) these processes were considered hobbies and not lifestyles. Though for me needlework took on a much more important role than just mere hobby. However, I never felt the need to define myself as either. I just mastered both processes like my Nana and went about my business.

So, until very recently, I wasn't aware that I needed to pick an identity that is more definitive (in simplistic terms) than an artist who is also a crocheter, mostly, who sometimes knits, but also has a penchant for needlepoint and hand-sewing(though I can machine sew with abandon), embroidery, silk-screening, felting (and not the knit it in wool and wash it in your machine kind of felting either, the real kind with wool shorn right off the sheep that needs to be carded and boiled and stinks like barnyard poo poo) are also not beyond my scope and I've been known to weave on a floor loom too!

No, I guess the next time I go to my LYS and the vegan sheep breeder behind the counter inquires about what I am making (therefore stating who I am, knitter or crocheter) I should refrain from saying that I am crocheting homicidal vegetables donning big bloodshot eyeballs with their $46 a hank fiber and instead reply, scarf. Monosyllabic answers are sometimes best.
I will just leave them wondering whether I am using *gasp* that "cross-over" craft crochet to make the scarf or their beloved knitting. And I will dream of days gone-by where yarn was a lot less expensive and machine-washable, where you could use whatever kind of yarn you wanted to make whatever kind of item you could dream up without derision. I will dream of days past where yarn stores were populated by wrinkle-queens and where the yarn smelled a little like nicotine. I will dream of those days gone-by where yarn was simply yarn, not knitting fiber or some other namesake. I will remember that what I have made has merit whether made by hook, needle or shuttle. I will embrace those days of yesteryear where we who knit, crochet, sew, weave, felt, needlepoint, embroider were of one tribe, with differing backgrounds, differing paths who came together at our local Super Yarn Mart to feel-up the acrylic and we loved it.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

CSI: Humpty Dumpty

As you might have gathered by now, I really like chickens. However, I bet you didn't know that I like chicken by-products too!

Enter, the Accidental Humpty Dumpty:

At least we were led to believe it was an accident that took the life-yolk from our fragile friend. I, however, believe that Humpty Dumpty fell victim to a far more sinister fate. Let's examine this fable for a moment shall we?

"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall."

What was Humpty doing sitting on a wall? He's an EGG! Even if he were a hard-boiled egg, this is still a very dangerous place for an egg to sit. Why wasn't he sitting on a bed of hay? An Aero mattress? A beanbag chair? Hell, he'd had been better off sitting on the curb (shorter fall)! No, I believe Humpty was sitting on the wall because he was desperate. He was fed up, dejected, lacked any reason to go on living. Why else would he be up on an elevated wall, teetering far above the ground, minutes from certain death? Or maybe, just maybe, he was eggnapped and abandoned atop the wall without any hope of rescue. Yes, it is becoming clearer, is it not?

The tube socks are good, huh? Eh-hem, let's continue...

"Humpty Dumpty had a great fall."

Um, yeah! As I said before, he's an EGG! He is not aerodynamic (though if he were in space this wouldn't really have any relevance, but here amidst the gravitational laws that govern us earthlings, Humpty is a little, well, screwed). He's sitting atop a RIGID wall TOWERING above the PAVEMENT! There are only two explanations: suicide or foul play. If he didn't jump then he was pushed! It's as simple as that. Or maybe he was just humiliated by having to wear striped tights all of the time (they are so 80's). I digress.

"All the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again."

Okay, forget about the suicide theory. It's definitely a conspiracy. First of all, horses have no opposable thumbs thereby making their ability to glue interlocking pieces of shattered eggshell together nil. Why would the King send a rescue team of horses to the gruesome scene? And why were the King's men unable to repair Humpty? Maybe they were off-duty? Or maybe they were ordered to stand down? Or maybe, just maybe, they weren't actually there to rescue Humpty Dumpty at all, but pushed him off the RIGID wall TOWERING above the PAVEMENT, shattering poor Humpty Dumpty into a million pieces ensuring the King's victory in the next Kingdom elections scheduled to occur in the Fall. That's it! Political assassination!

Politician's are often found dead wearing brown socks with black shoes. It's sad really.

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 06, 2005

A Musical Meme

Thanks to Kim I've been tagged. Okey dokey, here we go!

TOTAL VOLUME OF MUSIC FILES ON MY COMPUTER: None because my computer is so loaded with graphics I don't have room for the tunes! And I still buy cds. I know, I know. How archaic!


FIVE SONGS I LISTEN TO ALOT OR THAT MEAN ALOT TO ME: "Shiver" by Coldplay, "Szerelem, Szerelem" by Muziskas/Marta Sebestyen (don't look at this post funny - many people out there listen to Hungarian music - anyone have the latest census for the population of Hungary?), Meshell Ndegeocello covering Jimi Hendrix's "May This Be Love", "Wanderlust" by David Sylvian and "Revelator" by Gillian Welch. Okay so this list a a bit schizophrenic (or alternatively from a distant planet)...does that surprise you?

FIVE PEOPLE TO WHOM I'M PASSING THIS BATON: Jeez, this like spam! Anyway, y'all don't have to do this. Bad luck will not be the result if you don't do this and there is no cash prize involved. I am not making a real compelling case for this exercise! Anyway, does anyone want to take a crack at this? I am afraid to name names because I don't want to incur anyone's blogwrath! Five volunteers? I am bad at this huh?


Since January of 2004 I've been involved with a collaborative art "collective" made up mostly of my girlfriends from grad school. And let me tell you, the experience has been priceless! As an artist who had never attempted collaboration before, this experience has been enriching beyond compare!

The funny thing is, we didn't set out to become a group of collaborators. Originally my friend, Young An an amazing painter and curator, wanted to ensure that we have a girl's monthly soiree. The idea was that "girl's night" would be hosted at a different house every month, bring a dish of something yummy, wine (pivotal), etc. Pretty standard stuff with our crowd. We were just finally leaving our male counterparts at home with kids and laundry! Wooohooo!

Our first meeting was standard. Eat, drink, be merry and gossip, of course. At the end of the night we determined that I would play host at our next gathering the following month. Exit party.

Enter Art Doll Chronicles. This is the book I had been reading at the time about a collaborative, round-robin, doll-making project. I love dolls and puppets (which is why I purchased the book), but what I found most intriguing about the book and the project detailed within its pages was the collaborative process. I enjoyed reading about each artist's encounter with each of the dolls, their delights, their dismays, their creative processes, their journals and reflections. I got to thinking...WE could do something similar to this. How amazing would it be to have a bunch of traditional (this is relative) painters and sculptors make dolls???

So, I sent out an email to the group with party details AND project proposal. The responses ranged from "I don't have time for this" to "Wooohooo, I'm in". And so began "Hey Doll!".

The idea was to bring a doll starter and accompanying travel journal to our meeting. There were no guidelines as to what either of these items should be. As you might expect from a group of painters and sculptors, not all the doll starters were exactly, well, doll-like. We had doll starters that ranged from a razor scooter to three pristine 5" x 5" canvases to a web-like blob of dried acrylic paint right from the tube. Some of the journals were a bit nontraditional as well, i.e., scientific diagrams of the human eye and a portable camera. Alrightly then, let's get started!

Each meeting would consist of eating, drinking, being merry then down to business:

  1. Doll presentation - who did what to which doll that month.
  2. Oooohs and Aaaahs, then laughter.
  3. Everyone's names were put into a bowl for the drawing.
  4. Each participant would draw a name out of the bowl to see which doll would travel home with them.
  5. Photograph each doll at that particular stage.
  6. Determine next meeting place and time.
  7. More eating, drinking and being merry.
  8. Artists and dolls depart.

What I learned from this experience:

  1. "Hey Doll!" resulted in a level of commitment and quality of work and I am both astonished by and proud of.
  2. Each doll is so different from the another, yet stylistically consistent.
  3. Each doll found its voice at a different stage, yet each one yelled at the top of its lungs "I am here!" when the time was right.
  4. Damage and loss were relatively non-existent (an amazing feat considering each doll traveled to 13 studios and 2 gallery shows before journey's end).
  5. The process was contagious; even the nay-sayer(s) saw the doll starters and jumped in with their own doll starters the next meeting.
  6. I learned more about myself and my friends of 10 years by participating in this project than I could have otherwise.
  7. I drank more wine and laughed more deeply than I ever had at any of our "normal" parties.
  8. Collaboration is a term with which I am now intuitively familiar and innately comfortable with.

Eighteen months later. The dolls have been returned to their base artists. We have recovered from the gallery shows. The collaborative group has gotten a bit smaller (now 8 artists) and we move forward. Next project: Games! Who knows how these projects will "play out", but I do know that with this group, the games will be nothing short of amazing.

To see all of the dolls, check out our "needs to be finished" website (every website I work on or help with needs to be finished - remember I am html challenged).

Poultrypalooza update:

You can now order chicken nuggets and see the whole chicken family!

Also, I want to thank everyone for their continued support and wonderful comments. I try to reply to everyone within a relatively short amount of time, but sometimes it takes me a little longer. I do however read each and every comment and I will reply eventually. You guys are awesome!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Poultrypalooza Preview

A actual brick and mortar store is interested in selling my wares. Can you believe it???? People, I have been making lots of stuff for many, many years (read: obsessive compulsive crocheter/artist who has stacks of Rubbermaid bins from floor to ceiling, no, I am not kidding, filled with creations) and I've yet to unload ANY OF THIS STUFF on ANYONE. Well, that's not quite true. I've foisted this stuff upon friends as birthday and holiday gifts and I've had gallery shows that have produced a sale here and there. But c'mon! Do you think some art collector who is into expanding his or her post-modern abstract painting collection is interested in introducing a crocheted dead chicken to said collection? I think not. Hence the floor to ceiling bins of LadyLinoleum creations. It's frightening really. That's why we had to buy a condo. We need the extra square footage!

At any rate, the store wants chickens so you get see them first! I've made several different sizes for them to try out:

Chicken Nuggets

Cornish Hens


And Roasters (aka Big Momma)

I plan on making a bucket of wings next...

Drumstick (yes, my bird's name is Drumstick, so what) is a little disturbed by the dead and plucked bird imagery.

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.