Sunday, July 31, 2005

July Month of Softies - Sock Monkeys

This MOS theme was easy because I was able to use an existing softie that I made last year. One of these days we can discuss my sock monkey collection for which I made this lovely addition. Yes, I have a sock monkey collection. Big surprise there! At any rate, meet the topsy-turvy monkey doll:

In touch with both masculine and feminine side, this monkey is quite well adjusted and need not spend any hard earned dollars on the therapist's couch. I hand sewed this guy/gal using four pairs of socks.

Mr. Monkey is sporting a fez and vest made from felt in addition to an embroidered unibrow and mustache.

Ms. Monkey is adorned with gorgeous crocheted curls, embroidered eyelashes and a lovely beanie with a pompom. Oh, and she has cute little floral-shaped boobies! Yes, she's flat, but endowed nonetheless. I sewed a reversible skirt to separate the two monkey genders and Voila! A monkey sans identity crisis!

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

I'm baaaaack....

We're in the new condo! Yay!!!!! I've yet to find the exact spot to house each and all of our things, but that will come in time. The most important issues are taken care of:
  1. our cable modem has been hooked up (it is really difficult to live without the internet for 5 days);
  2. our animals are adjusting nicely; and
  3. everything in my studio space is put away so that I can work in there (this for me is more important than being able to cook)!
Anyway, I will start posting regularly this week. I've missed blogging and blogstalking!!! I have TONS of email and I've received lots of stuff for the VLA - Jessica and Ro I received your packages and I've not had a chance to even open them yet, but I will...Thank you!!! Hopefully I will get to some emails tomorrow and reply to some of my comments. I am totally happy to be back. You've no idea. Hugs all around!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Go visit the orbs...

Check out how our friend the ostomy bag is doing in its new home. Who knew a crocheted bag full of eyeballs could inspire this! You go Lori!

Also, just wanted to let everyone know that I am moving Wednesday and things are a little nutso over here at Chez Linoleum. So, a HUGE thank you to everyone who has left me comments or emails. I am reading them, just a little too fried to answer right now. Anyway, you all ROCK! Muchos besitos!

Computer gets disconnected tomorrow night and won't be connected again until Friday. Until then, have a wonderful week everyone and wish me good moving karma 'cuz I freakin' HATE moving!!!

Poo Poo Kitty (yes, that is the name of my cat, don't laugh) hates to move too because that would mean that she would actually have to, um, err, move, a state of being this cat is very unfamiliar with.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Doctor Is In

In our last episode we were left hanging off the proverbial cliff. Will Carnivorous Carrots and Roadkill Korn survive the brutal attack that foiled the Vegetable Liberation Army's smooth hideout move? And who is the mysterious doctor LadyLinoleum was last seen conversing with about the critically injured commandos? Will we learn who perpetrated this heinous act on our Veggie friends? Let's see...

Scene 2: Super-Secret Westbury Vegetable Clinic

LadyLinoleum: I removed the affected eyeballs immediately following the attack, but there was fiberfill everywhere! The scene was so gory! I did the best that I could. Do you think you can save them Doctor? Will they survive?

Dr. Manuel Mangoes: Don't worry your weak human mind too much LadyLinoleum. You didn't mess up the patients too much with your feeble surgical methods. It seems fate has shined brightly upon you dear Lady because Dr. Manuel Mangoes is on the case! As you know, I am reputed as being the world's foremost Fruit and Vegetable surgeon and researcher. Some call me a mad scientist, but those individuals are just jealous. For example, there were some in the scientific community that feigned shame when I invented Broccliflower, like it was some sort of Veganstein's monster or some such nonsense!

Can you believe that?

I prefer to see Broccliflower as a sort of light green super hero with robust florettes! I mean, how else should one characterize such an amazing specimen???

LadyLinoleum: Doctor please, if I thought you were a crackpot, I would have sought help elsewhere. Please, I need to know if you are able to save my friends!

Dr. Manuel Mangoes: Oh, sorry Lady. I do tend to get carried away at times...If anyone can save those two, It is I! And with the help of my assistant, Experimento, your friends will surely survive and thrive!

LadyLinoleum: That is such a relief to hear Doctor. I will inform the rest of the VLA right away. However, I must know first...Are you able to tell me how you intend to accomplish this huge task? How long will their individual reconstructions take? Recovery time? Will either Veggie ever see again?

Dr. Manuel Mangoes: I can feel your anxiety Lady, but you must have faith in my abilities to save your friends. I will not lie to you. Your friends are badly injured, but I've dealt with worse. I can assure you that I will do everything in my power to not only save your friends, but give them both a new lease on life. Now please, go have a seat in the waiting room and relax. There is a wonderful article about me in this month's Journal of Vegetable Medicine. Immerse yourself in that very good read, if I do say so myself, and I should be out of surgery before you know it with an update.

LadyLinoleum: Okay Dr. Mangoes. I will do my best to relax a bit and let you work your miracles.

LadyLinoleum makes her way down the clinic corridor, her heart racing, stomach in knots, hoping that her beloved Vegetable friends will be okay.

The liquid in Experimento's test tube body begins to bubble with anticipation at the impending task.

Dr. Manuel Mangoes takes off his lab coat so that he may change into his scrubs.

Stay tuned...

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I am from...

Came across renditions of this poem on a few blogs recently. Both Red Current and Pea Soup have superb examples IMHO. Each version left me in a state of quiet awe and gave me further insight into their respective worlds. I love that! So, having been completely inspired by these wonderfully creative women, I figured I'd give the exercise a go. My version follows.

I am from...

I am from popsicle sticks and paste, from the fin of the mermaid who swims abreast the Chicken of the Sea and from the test kitchen of Chef Boyardee.

I am from walls swathed in dark chocolate, trimmed in whisper white, where birds greet the day in a chorus of beeps, tweets and squawks, wrapped in a quilted harvest of golden paisley, red and blue.

I am from the withering orchid upon the windowsill, the moss covered stone.

I am from turkeys stuffed with pumpkins and wild mushrooms and from quick wit, dry humor and quiet desperation, from Richard Henry and Suzanne Victoria, from Mr. and Mrs. Newhall.

I am from the unbridled suffering of a king and the uncensored survival of his queen.

From six to one, half a dozen or the other and I am not your friend, I am your father.

I am from the devout catholic and the secular humanist.

I'm from El Valle de San Fernando and the mythos of Transylvania, oil-sodden potato chips and cremated macaroni and cheese.

From the sister who tumbled down the hill, parents whose eyes rolled in disbelief at the young girl’s tale and a grandfather who paid quiet witness to the folderal, silence belies guilt by association.

I am from walls adorned with cherubic cheeks and curly mahogany locks, myriad landscapes, travels of yesteryear, and ancestors making memories, all at the ready to spring from their wooden confines begging to be unearthed, relived and experienced anew.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Vegetable Liberation Army Attacked!

Slim: Stout, just received some intel on the VLA that will interest you...

Stout: Yeah, what?

Slim: It appears that there has been an assassination attempt on those fibrous freaks.

Stout: What? When? By who?

Slim: Um, you mean by whom?

Stout: Whatever! Just give me the story already!

Slim: All right, all right! It seems that the freaks were in the process of moving their base of operations, assisted by that Linoleum chick, when they were attacked. By whom, we don't know. What we do know is that some sort of chemical weapon was used in the attack and that it did not kill any of the cell combatants. However, both Carnivorous Carrots and Roadkill Korn were injured. The Carrots apparently lost two of their eyeballs and the flat freak lost its pancaked excuse for an eyeball too. Seems to me, they are probably better lookin' now. *snorting laughter* Anyway, it's rumored that both are in critical condition, held up in some make-shift facility somewhere. Currently, our team is trying to figure out what chemical substance was used in the attack and where the vegetable terrorists are hiding.

Stout: Okay good. I also want to know who or what executed the attack as well.

Slim: Okay, we're on it. Keep you posted.

Scene 2: Super-Secret Westbury Vegetable Clinic

Characters: LadyLinoleum and Mysterious Doctor (Identity to be Revealed)

LadyLinoleum: I removed the affected eyeballs immediately following the attack, but there was fiberfill everywhere! The scene was so gory! I did the best that I could. Do you think you can save them Doctor? Will they survive?

To be continued...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

July Boo-tay

The Veggies are in the process of collecting their GENEROUS donations. You philanthropists know who you are! When all of the loot has arrived at the hideout, the VLA gang will model it for all of you Vegetable Loyalists out there. Stay tuned!

For now, we can just peruse LadyLinoleum's recently acquired stash...

First is a small, but dangerous little guy crocheted by our own Jessica! Meet Gary, the shifty-eyed kumquat:

Upon arrival, Gary met up with Killer Korn and was soon enlisted into the VLA. Due to his shifty vision, Killer Korn thought Gary would make a splendid look-out at the VLA hideout. Gary agreed and began training with the rest of the VLA gang. Currently, this little kumquat dude has finished basic training and been taken under the collective leaves of Raging Red Cabbage and Tossed Salad in order to um, err, refine his newly acquired combatant skills. Gary sends his regards to you Jessica and thanks you for seeing his true fibrous combatant potential.

Next up. The Sampler! More indie craft stuff loaded into one package and mailed directly to your door than anyone can imagine. Take a looksee:

Did you notice the eyeball pin???

Sara, mother of Hooked, and just an all 'round amazing crocheter and person sent me this little giftie 'cuz she knows I have a penchant for argyle (green argyle no less):

Thanks Sara! I will definitely use this for my hooks. You're right, it's the perfect size!

And finally, furthering my quest to collect as many chickens as possible, I begged Lynn to swap with me - a Monster Crochet nekked chicken nugget for this:

How awesome is this lovely yellow hen? And two chicken buttons to boot! Wooohooo!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

You crocheted a what???

Yep, it's an ostomy bag.

Okay, I know you all think I have lost the few marbles I have left, but no, I am completely (well, relatively) sane. I was COMMISSIONED by our own Lori (of Shrone-dom glory) to work-up this dee-lightful creation. Hi Lori!

Never one to turn down a challenge, I figured what the hey I'll give it a try. Lori sent me a few pics of an actual bag to work from along with measurements and I hit the ground running.

Upon first viewing of the examples Lori sent, I knew that (i) I really wanted her to be able to see the bag contents from the outside and (ii) that I would need to incorporate eyeball(s) at her request.

Actual ostomy bag:

For a few weeks I was really married to the idea of incorporating clear vinyl to make Lori's bag creation seem more real, but ditched that concept after realizing that vinyl doesn't have much give and reality is overrated anyway! Alternatively, I opted for a market bag or netted bag approach. I didn't want the interior contents (some of my wondrous spherical bundles of joy - five eyeballs with curlicue nerve-endings) to get smushed. Looking at the final product now, I know that I made the right decision. The netting lets the viewer see that something is, in fact, inside the bag, but not so clearly as to give the contents completely away. There is some mystery there. And I for one CRAVE mystery when looking at the contents of an ostomy bag. LOL

My version of an ostomy bag:

Subbed eyeball for opening on original bag:

Contents revealed:

Need something odd, interesting or a even bit wacko crocheted? Who ya gonna call? LADYLINOLEUM.

At your service...

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Hills Were Alive With The Sound of Music - The Hollywood Hills That Is...

Ever been to see that infamous interactive cinematic delight otherwise known as the Rocky Horror Picture Show? Okay, good. Ever been to that other infamous interactive cinematic delight known to fans worldwide as The Sound of Music? No? Oh, c'mon now! Yes, it is a cinematic masterpiece. Yes, it is definitely a delight. And yes, for the last six years in a row the Hollywood Bowl has been producing the annual Sound of Music Sing-A-Long to sell-out audiences making this generational favorite much more than just mere film. In fact, I posit the Hollywood Bowl has helped rocket this film into its current status: interactive cinematic phenomena.

Let me preface the rest of this entry with one important fact: I love the Hollywood Bowl! As a native Angeleno, I've spent many a summer evening (for as long as memory serves) under the stars, nestled in the bosom of the golden Hollywood Hills, gazing at the historic bright Bowl shell, listening to the sweet sounds of the LA Philharmonic or the ever-so consistent Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, oftentimes combined with pyrotechnic wonders even Gandalf would be proud of. Summers at the Hollywood Bowl are a right of passage for any self-respecting Angeleno. Even if the symphony is not your thing, you can bask in the glow of many au courant performers such as Femi Kuti, Oasis or Dead Can Dance (I am definitely getting tix for this Lisa Gerard/Brendan Perry extravaganza - I know I am so 80's, early 90's, whatev-a).

Oh, almost forgot. Sacre bleu! Audience members are required to bring their picnic baskets loaded for bear accompanied by cases of wine and beer (well, we bring cases - hey, it's a long night) or hard liquor if that's your drug of choice. Just kidding...You're not required to join the leagues of picnickers and/or drinkers, but it IS tradition to bring your accoutrements to the Bowl or alternatively looking the looooooooser! And anyway, it's fun! So there.

The newly renovated Bowl shell:

The Bowl shell taken with my camera phone after having a few sips (yes, sips) of wine:

Sit back a moment and picture this: it's a beautifully cool summer evening under the stars, complete with good friends, laughter and a fabulous movie projected on a screen that rivals the one in Zeus' home theater on Mount Olympus. Oh yeah, and there's wine (just in case you've forgotten already). As I stated above, the vino was flowin', so much so that we ditched our Dixie cups in exchange for Slurpee straws. Ah, that's better. Anyone got an IV??? Anyway, there were cabernets and pinots, merlots and sauvignons, chardonnays and even some white zinfandels (charlatans). Now, combine two hours of pre-film drinking, eating, and blissful merriness, shaken not stirred. The result? A well lit crowd that sings, well, more like BELTS OUT, those beloved Rogers and Hammerstein tunes immediately recalling memories of days gone by where nuns sing incessantly and steal carburetors, children wear drapery, couples tryst in gazebos...oh, and Nazis abound. However, nothing chases away an evil Nazi faster than a Julie Andrews tune sung off key by the tone-deaf drunk in the seat next to you. You see, consuming several bottles of wine is a PUBLIC SERVICE. Bet ya didn't know that...thank you LadyLinoleum for showing us the way. Your very welcome.

Did I mention the props? OMG, I've forgotten about those. I am sufficiently detoxed. Really, I am. Anyway, upon entering the seating area at the Bowl, trying desperately to wheel our dolly of wine crates successfully through the crowd, we were handed our bags of props for use during the film. The flimsy, yet FREE, neon yellow plastic bags of goodness containing: (i) a card with a pic of Maria on one side and the erudite term, flibbertigibbit, on the other; (ii) a card with a large question mark on one side and pic of a will o'the wisp on the other side (we were told upon examination by our host for the evening, Reba star Melissa Peterman, that this image was in fact a will o'the wisp and thank God she enlightened us - believe me, it would have troubled me the entire evening, had she not shown us the way); (iii) an invitation to the ball given by that hottie Christopher Plummer and his soon-to-be-thrown-to-the-curb fiance, the Baroness; (iv) a little plastica champagne popper for use during the first kiss between Hottie and Maria; (v) a swatch of drapery; and (vi) a highly pertinent piece o'pvc edelweiss. Think G-Rated Rocky Horror people.

It's all about the props (yes, in addition to the wine).

In fact, my mother looked on in awe as I flawlessly rendered my card-flashing performance of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria. I was amazing. Knowing each and every instance when to flash each card, the correct side with the correct song lyric even. Okay, so I practiced. So what.

Other memorable moments:
  • the entire audience waving their lit cell-phones (new school version of waving cig lighters) in the air during a heart-wrenching version of Edelweiss;
  • hearing my 12 year old daughter yell (um, scream) YOU GO MARIA, when Julie Andrews tells Christopher Plummer that she will not answer to a whistle;
  • counting how many times someone in our group accidentally kicked an open bottle of wine thereby spilling the entire contents remaining in said bottle onto the concrete beneath our feet (hel-lo, this is why we bring ca-ses);
  • watching my mom laugh and have a spectacular time despite the tough year she's been having; and
  • feeling the warmth of my husband and daughter as they snuggled up next to me in the cooling evening.
It was an entire evening spent laughing, crying, reciting entire portions of film dialog (okay, so I'm a nerd), waiting for the perfect moment to run up the hill to the bathrooms (wine, have mercy on my bladder) and of course in song. For those of you not familiar with the lyrics to the ballads in the Sound of Music (shame on you) the wonderful Hollywood Bowl runs a version of the film with the lyrics shown at the bottom of the screen. For the Maria-loving veteran like myself, it's all about singing in your loudest operatic soprano, flashing your cards to the songs, waving your edelweiss in the air and loving the fact that you're hanging out with family and friends, indelibly etching the entire experience upon your memory for future recall because in a world filled with war, famine, disaster and suffering, sometimes the only ray of light shining through the mire is the memory of that evening you spent at the Hollywood Bowl, surrounded by loved ones, singing as loudly as you can, smiling beneath the stars...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Splat the Supa' Phlat Fly

You've met Supa' Fly. Now meet Splat the Supa' Phlat Fly, cousin to the original flying eyeballed wonder.

Splat's image is solely attributable to an um, err, accidental meeting with a windshield, but because of his supa' genes he survived and now thrives. Often he and and Supa' Fly can be spotted buzzing around the neighborhood looking for goodies (rotting food is a much loved goody) in one of the local rubbish containers.

Amazingly, Splat can still fly though his movement resembles that of a Frisbee as opposed to his cousin's helicopter flight style. In addition to his unique flying style, Splat can also slip under doors undetected, double as a blanket when Supa' Fly catches a chill or can even serve as a coaster for any human coffee table, a very marketable skill that provides him with continuous employment opportunities.

Please welcome Splat to the Monster Crochet cast of characters!

Splat's Crochet Stats:
  • Splat's phlat eyeball is made with DMC size 8 perle cotton (white & pupil) and Artfabrik size 8 thread (iris), crocheted in the round and embroidered (veins) using chain stitch after fastening off.
  • Splat's body is made from J&P Coats Metallic Knit-Cro-Sheen in size 10 black.
  • Wings are crocheted using Artfabrik's Lime Frappe colorway in size 8.
  • Pattern by moi.

Cordelia over at Crochetville suggested I make some maggots to accompany these fly guys. You all know that idea is right up my alley. Stay tuned!

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Shrone Status!

Here's what I found in my inbox yesterday:

Dear Lady Linoleum (aka Regina),

I'm pleased to inform you that you have been selected as a esteemed recipient of The Bona Fide Shrone Award. I've determined that you possess many of the salient characteristics of a Shrone! Here are the reasons why you are a Shrone:

1. Not only do you create amazing crocheted veggies, chickens, and fruits, you adorn them with wonderfully disturbing eyeballs.
2. Anyone who calls themself Lady Linoleum is definitely a Shrone!
3. Your blog is so awesome and provides much needed humor.
4. You have awesome creative talent that makes you a Super Shrone.
5. Something about you says when you get old and withered, you just
might go out cruising for penis!
6. You are unknowable.
7. You proudly crochet and are a Hillbilly Knitter!
8. You are kind and generous.
9. You're one groovy chick and I think you are super cool!
10. You haven't killed your inner child and you freely allow it out to play.

Yours in Shronedom!

P.S. Your distinguished Bona Fide Shrone card will be sent to you shortly.
Feel free to post and brag about your Shrone status! To assist you, I've
provided the attached button proclaiming your Shronedom to place on your

Okay, I feel like I've arrived...

Thank you Lori!

Very, very proud of my new status!!!!!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Hillbilly Knitters Unite!

On June 12th I wrote about feeling marginalized in our own crafty community of needleworkers simply because I choose to crochet my creations instead of knit them (Knitting Yarn???). This sparked a spirited discussion about us crochet-teers and how we must band together proudly and loudly behind our craft wielding hooks, doilies and afghans in front of the masses, taking our rightful place in the needleworkers' hall of fame.

We've been called Hillbilly Knitters on message boards by those who simply don't understand our place in the lineage of needle arts as Renee so aptly pointed out. This term, though meant to be derogatory and slanderous has conversely been embraced by us crochet-teers, giving us a term to rally around and shout from the rooftops! We are proud to be Hillbilly Knitters! Kari expands upon the definition our newly adopted group identity below:

Hillbilly Knitters (male and female) would be grass roots, salt of the earth knitters, nothing fancy, not yarn snobbish (ok we ALL have some yarn snob in us we just don't want to admit it), but rough and tumble - can knit through a tornado and not get ruffled type of knitter.

Are you a Hillbilly Knitter? Join the ranks and help us show our force in numbers! Take this button, save it to your server and display it proudly on your blog and/or website.

Then read and share your stories with the rest of us. Check out Hooked, a new blog project masterminded by Sara, for crocheters to bond through individual stories and shared experiences. Also, read BellaLinda's current post. It's not to be missed!

Postscript - To all you self-defined KNITTERS ONLY out there, pull up a chair, a hook and some yarn. We Hillbillies will greet you with some chicory coffee, or a latte if you please, and some good conversation. Before you know it, you'll be makin' a few chains, then a doily or two, hell, even a hat or a scarf. You may find that we aren't that different afterall. We all come together for the love of yarn and a strong addiction to makin' stuff. You may even find the Hillbilly Knitter lurking inside you...

Hillbilly Knitters UNITE!